Archive for the ‘Repeal’ Category
AHL’s TOP STORY: Plan To Repeal ACA, Enact Medicaid Block Grant System Would Decrease Spending by $1.7 Trillion Over Next Decade, Study Finds
A Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act and transform Medicaid into a block grant system would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $1.7 trillion between 2013 and 2022, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Kaiser Health News‘ “Capsules” reports.
According to the estimate, repealing the ACA would:
- Add $109 billion to the federal deficit between fiscal years 2013 to 2022;
- Give the president (whether it be Obama or Mitt Romney) “considerable discretion” to implement provisions because much of the health reform law already has been enacted in the two-and-a-half years since it became law;
- Not affect a number of provisions in the ACA that already have been implemented, such as Medicare’s competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment;
- Reduce the number of insured U.S. residents 2022 by 30 million, leaving about 60 million U.S. residents uninsured;
- Reduce the percentage of U.S. residents who are insured from 82% currently to 81% in 2022, which is lower than the 92% projected under the ACA;
- Reduce the number of beneficiaries in Medicaid and CHIP by 11 million, while increasing the number of U.S. residents who purchase coverage on the individual market by three million and the number of U.S. residents who obtain coverage from their employer by four million; and
- Reduce states’ spending on Medicaid and CHIP.
All that being said, the report notes that estimates on “the budgetary impact of H.R. 6079 are quite uncertain because they are based, in large part, on projections of the effects of the ACA, which are themselves highly uncertain.”
The report also states that though CBO did not estimate the effects of the repeal bill on insurance premiums, “it expects that the effects on premiums … would be similar” an estimate from 2009, which suggests that repealing the ACA would result in “somewhat lower” premiums on the individual market and “somewhat higher” premiums for employer-based coverage.
by Anthony Wilson, Editor
The House on Wednesday voted 244-185 to approve legislation (HR 6079) that would repeal the federal health reform law. The vote marks the 33rd time since January 2011 that Republicans have moved to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act.
CNN‘s report on the vote seemed rather snarky, as it noted that the House GOP pushed for repeal “despite Democratic objections that the move was a waste of time.” The clip states, “The vote amounted to political theater because the measure is sure to die in the Democratic-led Senate and the White House has made clear Obama would veto any repeal.”
Politico‘s report on vote seemed positive by comparison. Despite noting in its headline — “House votes to repeal ‘Obamacare’ — again” — the GOP’s continued opposition to the law, the article noted that the move sent “a symbolic but powerful GOP message to voters: The Supreme Court may have upheld it, but it’s still a bad law.”
OUR TAKE: The vote was clearly a politically motivated and — many would argue — legislatively futile attempt to repeal the health reform law. If Republicans wanted to send a more “powerful” message, they actually should have included a replacement plan along with it to boost their stance on the law.
By Hanna Jaquith, staff writer
The House yesterday voted 244-185 to approve legislation (HR 6079) that would repeal the federal health reform law, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 7/11). The vote marks the 33rd time since January 2011 that Republicans have moved to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (Helderman, Washington Post, 7/11).
The measure is not expected to be approved by the Senate (Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, 7/11). Further, President Obama has said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk (Bendavid, Wall Street Journal, 7/11).
By Lindsey Underwood, Staff Writer
The American public should adopt a wait-and-see approach as states react to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the federal health reform law, according to panelists at a roundtable discussion hosted by George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services on Wednesday.
The discussion was part of a 90-minute symposium, which examined the implications of the ruling on public health, and included remarks from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), prominent health policy experts, and representatives of medical, insurance and consumer advocacy groups.
In an interview with MSNBC last week, Eric Fehrnstrom — a senior campaign adviser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — said Romney “disagreed with the ruling” to uphold the mandate as a tax, adding that Romney “agreed with the dissent written by Justice [Antonin] Scalia, which very clearly stated the mandate was not a tax.”
House Republicans last week released legislation to repeal the federal health reform law, making good on their earlier pledge to work to eliminate the law if it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, The Hill‘s “Floor Action Blog” reports (Kasperowicz, “Floor Action Blog,” The Hill, 7/6). The House is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday, following a series of hearings by several House committees on issues related to the overhaul and the high court’s ruling.
The House Ways and Means Committee tomorrow will conduct a hearing to discuss the tax effects of the high court’s ruling, which deemed that the law’s individual mandate can stand because it constitutes a tax.
[Ed. Note: For background on the GOP's attempt to repeal the overhaul, click here, here and here.]
To mark the occasion, the GOP commended itself for dismantling smaller reform provisions over the past year (Baker/Pecquet, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 1/19). They noted the repeal of two provisions, one involving the 1099 tax-reporting requirement that small businesses opposed and the other involving a “glitch” that made certain middle-income early retirees eligible for Medicaid.
House Republicans also praised the suspension of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act by the Obama administration, although they still are working to repeal the program outright.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged to continue pushing for a full repeal of the reform law, calling it a barrier to job creation (Baker , “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 1/19).
Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday rallied health reform advocates to defend the law, saying the GOP likely will launch more attacks on the overhaul in the coming year, National Journal reports (Quinton, National Journal, 1/19).
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday announced that the Obama administration will end the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, a long-term care program created by the federal health reform law to provide insurance to workers if they become unable to care for themselves because of injury or illness. In a letter to congressional leaders, Sebelius wrote there was not a “viable path forward” to implement the CLASS program while keeping it affordable and financially solvent.
The administration’s decision to drop a key program in the health reform law gave fresh ammunition to Republicans who say the entire law should be repealed. The Wall Street Journal writes that the announcement “perfectly illustrates the recklessness that produced” the federal health reform law, while Jonathan Cohn — writing for The New Republic – argues that the move “hardly” proves the law is fatally flawed.
House Republicans yesterday moved to repeal two provisions of the federal health reform law, The Hill‘s “Healthwatch” reports (Baker, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 9/15). The effort comes after GOP efforts to repeal parts of the reform law had slowed in recent months. Congress over the summer focused mostly on deficit-reduction negotiations (American Health Line, 9/9). However, Republicans have reignited their opposition to the law, with members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health discussing a draft regulation that would repeal a measure under which certain health plans can lose their grandfathered status (“Healthwatch,” The Hill, 9/15). Republicans argue that the provision breaks Obama’s pledge that U.S. residents who like their insurance can keep it (Ethridge, CQ Today, 9/15). In related news, House Republicans are pushing a measure (HR 2077) that would repeal the reform law’s medical-loss ratio provision, National Journal reports (Sanger-Katz, National Journal, 9/15). Under the MLR rule, private insurers are required to spend at least 80% in the individual market or 85% in the group market of their premium dollars on direct medical costs. Insurers that do not comply with the ratio will have to issue rebates to consumers (American Health Line, 9/13). Critics of the provision say it could have unintended consequences, such as negatively affecting insurance brokers or creating a “perverse incentive” for insurers not to invest in quality improvement (“Healthwatch,” The Hill, 9/15).