Trump demands Senate repeal Obamacare without a replacement

That's now a real possibility.

Jun 30, 2017, 8:46 am*

Tech

David Covucci 

David Covucci

trump obamacare repeal

Image via Joint Chiefs/Twitter

Much like the process in the House of Representatives in March, the path to an Obamacare replacement has been a roller coaster in the Senate. After drafting a bill in secret , Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to delay a vote, fearing it wouldn’t pass.

Throughout the process, President Donald Trump has vacillated in his support. This morning, Trump proposed an entirely new tack: Instead of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with an alternative, let the Senate just repeal it.

The idea comes after a Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) floated the proposal on Fox & Friends.

Then, in some sort of human Twitter centipede of congressional legislative proposals, Sasse retweeted the president, endorsing his own idea.

This is, however, only one of many proposals Trump has decreed as the path forward for his signature effort to repeal and replace Obamacare (officially known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA), which has consumed the first six months of his presidency.

Just four days ago, Trump said, in lieu of repealing and replacing Obama’s healthcare legislation, the Senate should let it “crash and burn.”

He also came out in favor of the Senate bill.

Trump ostensibly furthered the stance that he supports the bill on Thursday when he tweeted a chart that showed the Senate plan would increase funding for Medicaid, which he claimed the media was misrepresenting.

Medicaid spending will go up under this bill, but at a lower rate than if the Republican bill didn’t pass with new restrictions. And the cuts will intensify starting in 2025, ultimately removing hundreds of billions of dollars from a healthcare program used by tens of millions of Americans.

Trump and Republican lawmakers’ suggestion to repeal Obamacare without a replacement in place could have significant consequences. Not only would the millions who rely on the Affordable Care Act for coverage be at risk, insurance companies would no longer be restricted by many of the consumer-focused regulations in place because of the law—such as covering essential health benefits and not putting lifetime limits on coverage—which Republicans would then need to try and reign in again whenever they proposed a new healthcare bill.

As for Sasse’s proposal that the Senate spend all of August working on a replacement, Congress is in recess at that time.

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*First Published: Jun 30, 2017, 8:45 am