Repeal and Replace

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

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House Republicans approved their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.

Here's a rundown of key provisions in the American Health Care Act and what would happen if the Senate approves them and the bill becomes law.

Buying insurance

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Updated 5 pm April 3, 2017 to include the proposed Upton amendment.

The House may yet pass its bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans' options to fulfill their seven-year effort to undo the federal health law are getting narrower by the day.

"As of now, they still don't have the votes," said Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) as he was leaving a meeting of GOP members Tuesday. King has been heavily lobbied by both sides.

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Kids with chronic conditions are especially vulnerable to health insurance changes, relying as they often do on specialists and medications that may not be covered if they switch plans. A recent study finds that these transitions can leave kids and their families financially vulnerable as well.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Republicans should start chipping away at eliminating the Affordable Care Act. He spoke to Fox News after attending a White House bill signing.

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For most of his life, Carl Goulden had near perfect health. He and his wife, Wanda, say that changed 10 years ago. Carl remembers feeling, "a lot of pain in the back, tired, fatigue, yellow eyes — a lot of jaundice."

Wanda, chimes in: "Yellow eyes, gray-like skin." His liver wasn't working, she explains. "It wasn't filtering."

Carl was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Now 65 and on Medicare, he had a flower shop in Littlestown, Pa., back then, so had been buying health insurance for his family on the market for small businesses and the self-employed.

GOP Bills To Replace Obamacare Do Not Tinker With Lawmakers’ Coverage

Apr 11, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

This week, I answered a reader’s question about how repealing the Affordable Care Act could affect congressional lawmakers’ insurance, along with a few other questions that had nothing to do with the health law drama that has engulfed the U.S. Capitol in recent weeks.

Q: What type of insurance do our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., have? Is it true that they’re insured on the ACA exchanges now and that any repeal and replacement will affect them too?

WMFE

The Republican health care bill remained in shambles Thursday as House leaders threw up their hands and sent lawmakers home for a two-week recess. GOP chiefs announced a modest amendment to curb premium increases, but internal divisions still blocked their promised repeal of former President Barack Obama's law.

"This brings us closer to the final agreement that we all want to achieve," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said of the new amendment, flanked by about two dozen GOP lawmakers at a news briefing meant to project unity.

WMFE

The White House and House Republicans appear short of a last-ditch deal on their long-promised repeal of Barack Obama's health care law. And in an unexpected twist, "Obamacare" — never very popular — seems to be rising in public opinion polls.

Updated July 19 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Repealing the Affordable Care Act was at the top of Republicans' policy wish list ever since the law was passed in 2010. Seven years later, having gained the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress, the GOP apparently has failed to repeal that law, also known as Obamacare.

However, that doesn't mean Obamacare itself is untouchable. While Congress faltered, the White House still has lots of power.

House Republicans emerged from a members-only meeting Tuesday morning to bullishly declare the health care legislative battle is not over.

"We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters after the meeting.

Ted Eytan (Wikimedia Commons)

Americans who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act are feeling some relief at the failure of Republican efforts to repeal it, but they face new anxieties with President Donald Trump tweeting that "ObamaCare will explode."

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Throughout the campaign, President Trump billed himself as a master negotiator who would make the "best deals" for the American people.

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Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

After seven years of fervent promises to repeal and replace "Obamacare," President Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders buckled at a moment of truth Thursday, putting off a planned showdown vote in a stinging setback for the young administration.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.

GOP Plan Aims To Curb Medicaid, Expand State Options

Mar 23, 2017

For all its populist design, the House Republicans’ latest proposal to overhaul federal Medicaid funding creates financial risks for states and could leave some enrollees worse off.

Dramatic changes in Medicaid are a big part of the House bill to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act that’s steaming toward a floor vote scheduled for Thursday.

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The Affordable Care Act's tax penalty for people who opt out of health insurance is one of the most loathed parts of the law, so it is no surprise that Republicans are keen to abolish it. But the penalty, also called the individual mandate, plays a vital function: nudging healthy people into the insurance markets, where their premiums help pay for the cost of care for the sick. Republican lawmakers think they have a better alternative.

Darvin Bentlage says his health insurance plan used to be the same as all the other cattle farmers in Barton County, Mo.: Stay healthy until he turned 65, then get on Medicare. But when he turned 50, things did not go according to plan.

"Well, I had a couple of issues," he says.

He's putting it mildly.

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The Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would make significant changes to the U.S. health insurance system. It would unwind many of the taxes and coverage mandates of the law, also known as Obamacare. And it would gradually overhaul Medicaid.

The bill would affect incomes and health coverage for millions of Americans. Some people would be better off. Others would be worse off. The original bill could change as it makes its way through Congress, but here's an early forecast of some of the winners and losers.

"This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the speaker, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.

The Republican health care overhaul working its way through the House is opposed by Democrats and by many Republican conservatives. It's none too popular with the people on the front lines of health care, either — including doctors, nurses and hospitals.

The chief medical officer of Medicaid, Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, tweeted out his opposition on Wednesday. "Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts ... in opposition to #AHCA," the career staffer said.

Kaiser Family Foundation

People in their 50s and 60s could be hit with higher health insurance premiums and less financial help paying for them under a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

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