Repeal and Replace News

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Two GOP lawmakers from Colorado — U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck — said that they have concerns about the package unveiled this week.

By today’s account, it’s not just Gardner, Buck and some of their more moderate GOP friends. The Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity oppose it. The Heritage Foundation opposes it. The Club for Growth opposes it. Rand Paul and Mike Lee seem to oppose it. House conservatives really oppose it, calling it Obamacare 2.0 and Obamacare Lite. Conservatives like these don’t think the bill goes far enough — or anywhere at all.  Many concerns focus on how it would begin in 2020 to phase out an expansion of Medicaid created under the Affordable Care Act.  The plan would end the requirement that people buy health insurance and also change the type of financial support that people shopping for insurance receive when not covered by plans provided through their employers or the government.

Buck, a Republican from Windsor, said he believes that there needs to be coverage for people near the poverty line. But he’s skeptical that coverage should come from the government, and he questioned whether Congress would have the will to begin shutting down the Medicaid expansion in 2020 — in the heat of a presidential election year.

Congressional Budget Office Score

The Congressional Budget Office just released its much-awaited report analyzing the possible effects of the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. In summary, the report states that twenty-four million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026,  with 14 million of them losing coverage in 2018.  Republicans are arguing that the CBO is only scoring a portion of their overall plan. They’ve long explained they have a three-step process. The first is to pass their legislation to repeal and partially replace the Affordable Care Act, which is what the CBO has scored, through a process known as budget reconciliation. Budget reconciliation requires only 51 votes in the Senate, but is narrow in terms of what lawmakers can get passed under the process.  Every bill that comes out of a congressional committee has to include what’s called a CBO score. Essentially, this is how much a proposed bill would cost or save the federal government compared to what would happen if the government didn’t pass it—a baseline, of sorts. For something like a health care policy, there’s the added (and crucial) piece of determining how many citizens would be covered by the health care system before and should the legislation pass.

Although the effects of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act will not be “felt” for a few years, we’ll be posting updates as time progresses to keep you informed.

For more information on health care in our area and how we can help you with your health insurance coverage, contact Pilkington Financial Health in Sterling, Colorado.