Wednesday, December 27, 2017

OBAMACARE BAILOUT WATCH: 3 Key Questions About The Obamacare ‘Stability’ Bill

With White House officials promising to work to bail out Obamacare, how can tax reform have ‘essentially repealed’ the behemoth law?
On Wednesday afternoon, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced they would postpone until the New Year their request for considering an Obamacare “stability” bill. Their statement capped a sequence of developments that raised almost as many questions as it answered—about the “stability” bill, the process used to consider it, and Obamacare itself.
1. If Congress Just ‘Essentially’ Repealed Obamacare, Why Pass a Bill to Prop It Up?
Ahead of final passage of the tax bill on Wednesday, President Trump claimed at a cabinet meeting that “when the individual mandate is being repealed” in the tax bill, “that means Obamacare is being repealed. We have essentially repealed Obamacare.”
The administration undermined the president’s own case later that day, however, when unnamed White House officials said they would work to pass the “stability” bill Collins and Alexander support. The two senators envision appropriating tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to health insurers in two forms—reinsurance payments, and cost-sharing reduction reimbursements—both of which would bolster rather than undermine the Obamacare exchanges.
The president overstated his case, of course. Congress has not repealed the law, nor has it repealed the “heart” of the law, as Sen. Mitch McConnell claimed on Thursday—and the debate on the “stability” bill explains why. The heart of Obamacare rests in its insurance regulations, all of which remain in place following the mandate’s repeal. Without the individual mandate—designed to compel healthy individuals to purchase government-required health coverage, thereby subsidizing the sick—premiums could increase.
Collins and Alexander wish to “solve” this problem not by repealing Obamacare’s insurance regulations—which would lower premiums and increase health care choices—but instead by throwing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars at the problem through the “stability” bill.
Read the rest from Christopher Jacobs HERE at The Federalist

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