obamacare

A Fresh Start for Health Care Reform

BY PATRICK HOPE, MARK LEAHEY AND SCOTT WHITAKER

The New Year is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings — to set goals and commit to meeting them. In Washington, it is a time for renewed focus on the issues that affect millions of Americans. It’s clear that health care reform is a top priority for the new Administration and Congressional leaders, and it is our hope that policymakers on both sides of the aisle will come together to support health care policies that allow patients worldwide to live longer, healthier and more productive lives — starting with an immediate and permanent repeal of the burdensome medical device tax.

White House Pumps Brakes on Obamacare Replacement
Ryan looks to reframe pace set by Trump

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, left, seen here with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, hopes to have replacement legislation for the health care law done by the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House appears to be changing its diagnosis for President Donald Trump signing into law a measure that would replace the 2010 health care law with a Republican-crafted plan.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday would not guarantee that Trump would sign legislation putting in place a GOP-crafted alternative to the health care law this year, saying instead that the president is “optimistic” that will happen.

House and Senate Preview: Efforts Swirl on Border Wall, Obamacare and Trump’s Cabinet
 

How President Trump Can Avoid President Obama’s Biggest Mistake
Punting health care legislation to Congress defined Obama’s time in office

Donald Trump greets President Barack Obama moments before his swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump’s critics believe the new president is clueless (or worse), but he might be on track to avoid repeating former President Barack Obama’s biggest political mistake. 

Trump’s pre-inaugural press conference was widely panned, but his comments on the future of health care legislation were instructive.

Ryan Still Doesn't Want to Run for President
Speaker says ‘the left’ is trying to delegitimize Trump’s presidency before it starts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan insists he still does not want to run for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been asked hundreds, if not thousands, of times if he wants to run for president one day. The answer has not changed. 

“No,” Ryan said in an interview with Charlie Rose scheduled to air on PBS late Thursday. “It’s just not an ambition that I’ve long harbored, or I’ve harbored.” 

Republican Members Hear from Obamacare Supporters
Democrats hold rallies to defend Obama’s signature law

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., called a swarm of Obamacare supporters at a constituent event "partisan activists." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican members of Congress heard from constituents supportive of the Affordable Care Act over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend as they take steps to repeal the law.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., saw hundreds of people at a constituent meeting event at a library in Aurora, according to one eyewitness account to 9News.

Mixed Bag of Republicans Vote Against Obamacare Repeal Vehicle
GOP defectors cite deficit, lack of replacement

Dent voted against the budget resolution because of concerns about the GOP rushing to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans on Friday passed a bare-bones fiscal 2017 budget resolution with few intraparty defections, as most GOP members saw the unbalanced and long-delayed spending plan as a necessary means to an end of repealing the 2010 health care law.

The nine Republicans who voted against the measure raised concerns about either the budget not balancing, a key priority for fiscal conservatives, or the aggressive timeline of repealing the Affordable Care Act, given that the GOP has yet to present a replacement plan. The final vote was 227-198. 

The Convoluted Process for Dismantling Obamacare
Budget reconciliaton, explained

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo )

In the early hours of Jan. 12, the Senate took the first step in the convoluted process of dismantling and replacing the 2010 health care law. To overcome the potential filibuster power of Senate Democrats, GOP lawmakers are relying on budget reconciliation, the same procedural mechanism their counterparts across the aisle used seven years ago to implement parts of the health care overhaul.

The budget reconciliation process is filled with procedural complications — and in this case, political uncertainty — as GOP leaders and President-elect Donald Trump have signaled various ideas about the timing of changes.

Ryan Says Obamacare Repeal, Replacement Will Happen ‘Concurrently’
Uncertainty over timeline for a replace plan bedevils House GOP

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says pieces of a health care law replacement plan could be included in the current budget reconciliation measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday that Republicans will offer a replacement plan for the 2010 health care law at the same time they repeal it, amid signs the legislative process for a repeal was encountering obstacles. 

“It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” the Wisconsin Republican said. 

Senate Democrats Use the Floor and Facebook to Protest Obamacare Repeal
Democrats launched a coordinated push to speak out against GOP effort

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer used his leadership office to send the party message on Facebook. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats launched the first of what will likely be numerous efforts to derail Republican plans to repeal the 2010 health care law, taking to the Senate floor and social media Monday night in a talk-a-thon to portray the move as reckless and chaotic for the health care system.

“I think the point is to send a clear message to the country, to the American people that, No. 1, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Senate Republicans from destroying the Affordable Care Act,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said. “We’re focused on making sure that we get on the Senate floor and talk about the damaging consequences and the chaos that’s going to be created throughout the health care system.”