January 20, 2016

Your Republican overlords in the United States Congress are having a bit of a squabble right now over what to do about their promises to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act.

They've fullfilled the "repeal" part of their promise 60 or so times now in the House of Representatives, and last year the Senate finally gave them their dream of putting the bill on President Obama's desk, where it was promptly vetoed.

So now, what to do, what to do? House leaders want to introduce a replacement plan, but Mitch McConnell is putting the brakes on that, because he knows how much people will hate it.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is anxious to roll out Republicans' version of "die and die quickly" to the American people.

“We have to work together to have that bill, and that’s what this process is,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) said of the effort to draft a consensus ObamaCare replacement bill this year. “We want to get one as soon as possible. I think it’s very positive for us to show the alternatives, especially [given] what the American public has seen about ObamaCare.”

But turtles move slowly toward the finish line, so McConnell is not quite as eager.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), however, wants 2016 to be a referendum on Obama’s record. He prefers sticking to the basic blocking and tackling of government: passing the annual appropriations bills.

Putting out a broad healthcare reform bill before the election could backfire by giving Democrats a big target to attack. With at least five Senate GOP incumbents facing tough reelection races, Senate leaders argue there’s no point in moving a bill that Obama is sure to veto.

There's one more thing mucking up their diabolical plan. They cannot seem to agree on how they should go about replacing the Affordable Care Act with plans that are so terrible no one will want them.

[Rep. Steve] Scalise cited reforms such as allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and fostering greater competition among private insurance companies without saddling them with government mandates.

[Rep. Tom] Price’s Empowering Patients First Act would create a refundable tax credit for health insurance coverage. It would provide a $1,200 credit for people between the ages of 18 and 35, $2,100 for people between the ages of 35 and 50 and $3,000 for people 50 and older.

It would also provide a $1,000 tax credit for contributions to health savings accounts and give federal grants to states to provide health coverage to high-risk pools of people who might have trouble purchasing it on their own.

Flores, the chairman of the RSC, in June unveiled the American Health Care Reform Act, which would create a standard tax deduction for health insurance. Qualifying individuals would receive a $7,500 deduction, and families would get a $20,500 deduction.

Tax deduction, tax schmeduction. If you're making $40,000 a year and supporting a family of four, who the hell cares about getting a deduction to offset the $10 in income taxes you might owe?

Just a reminder, they intend to repeal "every word" of the Affordable Care Act, including that part where your pre-existing conditions are covered and there are no limits on the amount of benefits provided.

If Republicans can't agree on how to foist this terrible plan on the American people, how would they ever expect to get a consensus to pass such a thing.


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