Secret Recording of GOP Lawmakers Reveals They Lied to the American Public (Groopspeak.com link) The Washington Post has obtained a secret recording of a closed-door meeting between Republican lawmakers – and it reveals them expressing serious doubts about how they are going to live up to their promises to the American people of getting rid of Obamacare, while at the same time initiating a replacement without creating chaos.
In the recording, a number of concerns were raised, but chief among them was how they were going to do this in a way that wouldn’t hurt them when the next election comes up.
What’s most striking about the conversations, however, was that key Republicans admitted that they didn’t know what to do as far as a replacement plan is concerned.
They discussed how to prepare a plan – a plan that they should have already figured out. Keep in mind – they have been talking about repeal and replace for quite a long time now, but they still don’t seem to have their agenda sorted out.
According to the Post, they are still determining how to avoid damage to the health insurance market, how to keep premiums affordable, and how to get away with defunding Planned Parenthood without it hurting them politically. Congressman John Faso (R-N.Y.) touched on this latest point:
“We are just walking into a gigantic political trap if we go down this path of sticking Planned Parenthood in the health insurance bill,” he said. “If you want to do it somewhere else, I have no problem, but I think we are creating a political minefield for ourselves — House and Senate.”
The recording took part during a Republican Party policy retreat in Philadelphia. It’s not sure who sent the recording to the Post yet. It was sent to several news outlets from an anonymous email address. The Post took the extra step of confirming the recording by calling their offices, though, and it is legit.
“The fact is, we cannot repeal Obamacare through reconciliation,” said McClintock in the meeting. “We need to understand exactly, what does that reconciliation market look like? And I haven’t heard the answer yet.”
Rep. Tom MacArthur even expressed Democratic sentiment, and agreed with the notion that the GOP’s plan would eliminate health coverage for 20 million Americans, even those covered under Medicaid:
“We’re telling those people that we’re not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them.”
Republicans promised their voters that they would replace Obamacare immediately and are trying to take steps to do that – but the truth is they can’t. Speaker Paul Ryan has already stated that they won’t repeal without a replacement plan. This recording proves they aren’t even close to establishing a way forward yet.
The recording reveals a GOP that appears to be filled with doubts about how to make good on a long-standing promise to get rid of Obamacare without explicit guidance from President Trump or his administration.
The thorny issues with which lawmakers grapple on the tape — including who may end up either losing coverage or paying more under a revamped system — highlight the financial and political challenges that flow from upending the current law.
Senators and House members expressed a range of concerns about the task ahead: how to prepare a replacement plan that can be ready to launch at the time of repeal; how to avoid deep damage to the health insurance market; how to keep premiums affordable for middle-class families; even how to avoid the political consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood, the women’s health-care organization, as many Republicans hope to do with the repeal of the ACA.
The concerns of rank-and-file lawmakers appeared to be at odds with key congressional leaders and Andrew Bremberg, a top domestic policy adviser to Trump, who have laid out plans to repeal the ACA using a fast-track legislative process and executive actions from the administration. However, these leaders acknowledged in Thursday’s meeting, as they have before, that Obamacare cannot be fully undone — or replaced — without Democratic cooperation.
That and other aspects of the unfinished GOP plan prompted several wary lawmakers to urge their leaders to move more deliberately — even as the Trump administration appears to be moving ahead with repeal. Thursday, the White House ordered federal health officials to immediately halt all advertising and other outreach activities for the critical final days in which Americans can sign up for 2017 health coverage through Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
The administration partly retracted that directive on Friday, allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to continue to contact people eligible for ACA coverage by email, text and automated phone calls, and reviving use of a HealthCare.gov Twitter account.The new directive also allows airing of some ads if the government would otherwise lose the money it paid for them upfront.
Mod: Poor swamp creatures.
AP-NORC Poll: Broad worries about potential health care loss (Associated Press link): Though "Obamacare" still divides Americans, a majority worry that many will lose coverage if the 2010 law is repealed in the nation's long-running political standoff over health care.
A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 56 percent of U.S. adults are "extremely" or "very" concerned that many will lose health insurance if the health overhaul is repealed. That includes more than 8 in 10 Democrats, nearly half of independents, and more than 1 in 5 Republicans. Another 45 percent of Republicans say they're "somewhat" concerned.
"No one should go without health care for even a day," said Wendy Narug of DeMotte, Indiana, a small town south of Gary. A political independent who leans Republican, Narug works caring for people with disabilities. She favors repealing the Obama health law, but not until Congress and President Donald Trump have a replacement ready.