Trump Talks Turkey on Obamacare
Turkeys aren’t the only ones on the chopping block this Thanksgiving — so is the president’s healthcare law. Over the weekend, Vice President-elect Mike Pence made it clear that the GOP is ready to carve up something else: Obamacare. After six years of trying, Republicans are ready to do away with the farce of an “Affordable Care Act” — and Donald Trump won’t waste time doing so. According to his second-in-command, gutting Barack Obama’s worst policy failure is priority number one for the incoming administration.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Pence explained that “decisions have been made, that, by the president-elect, that he wants to focus out of the gate on repealing Obamacare and beginning the process of replacing Obamacare with the kind of free-market solutions that he campaigned on.” Once that two and a half-trillion dollar money pit is dealt with, the Trump team plans to tackle the rest of his ambitious agenda. “From there, we will work on issues ranging from ending illegal immigration, reviving our economy through tax reform, rebuilding the military, restoring the infrastructure of this country.”
With challenges to the law backlogging the courts and businesses and insurance companies imploding under the weight of it, the plan to sink Obamacare was met by plenty of cheers. Democrats, on the other hand, are still stubbornly clinging to the system that’s put America on a path to economic implosion. “We’re not going to repeal or help [Trump] repeal Obamacare,” new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed. But it will take more than tough talk to stop the repeal process. With the GOP still holding the slimmest of Senate majorities, undoing the bulk of Obamacare with just 51 votes can be accomplished through the rare but effective budget reconciliation process.
Republicans managed the feat last year, sending a bill to the president’s desk that not only hollowed out the health care law but also defunded the lion’s share of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Despite the ongoing scandals at Cecile Richards’s group and the gloomy forecast for Obamacare, the president vetoed the package, making him solely responsible for the forced partnership between taxpayers and the culture of death. This time around, the White House’s pens will be used for a different purpose — to sign the proposal into law.
If House and Senate leaders follow the path of 2015, they’ll draft a bill to repeal significant portions of Obamacare’s most onerous provisions, like the premium subsidies for health plans in exchanges (which would also stop subsidies for health care plans with abortion!), and end the financial penalties for the individual mandate and employer mandate. Although it wouldn’t upend the HHS mandate, the pre-existing conditions requirement, or some other insurance market reforms, it decimates Obamacare, leaving a shell that would almost immediately force the system’s collapse. If people aren’t forced to buy insurance (individuals or employers) then the law is effectively unraveled — and if the subsidy rug is pulled out from under it, then insurers will begin to design their own plans.
As far as America’s largest abortion business is concerned, the reconciliation approach would cut about 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s government funding since they receive roughly $400 million a year in mandatory programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and SCHIP. Instead, that money would be redirected to community health care clinics that don’t perform abortions but do offer effective, honest, and comprehensive care for women. In a letter to congressional leaders, FRC stressed the need to use the same blueprint:
“With a pro-life president and pro-life majorities in the House and Senate in 2017, Congress should again pass these provisions in a new budget reconciliation bill and send it to President-elect Donald Trump for signature into law. Then, President-elect Trump can follow through on his firm pro-life campaign promises regarding the repeal of Obamacare and ‘defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.'” The pro-life community stands united in its desire to see legislation signed into law to stop funding for abortion providers and to remove Obamacare provisions which subsidize plans with elective abortion coverage.”
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