President Trump turned his push for the American Health Care Act in a zero-sum game: Either the House passes the AHCA today or Obamacare stays, the Wall Street Journal reports. Trump is done negotiating, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told wavering House members last night. Trump has been trying to placate two warring factions of the GOP: conservatives who feel that the AHCA doesn’t go far enough (who call it Obamacare Lite), and moderates who worry that the AHCA would remove portions of Obamacare that the public has gotten used to and like. Democratic House members plan to vote against the AHCA as a block.
Moderate GOP House members want the government to supply more generous federal assistance to help people afford insurance, especially pre-Medicare age citizens. This move would “delay for six years the repeal of a 0.9% tax that applies to wages above $200,000 annually for individuals and wages above $250,000 annually for married couples,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Those amounts aren’t indexed for inflation, meaning that more people would be hit by it over time. The previous version of the GOP health plan would have repealed the tax retroactively as of Jan. 1.”
One of the things conservative GOP members dislike about the AHAC is that it leaves in place too many of the items that have to be covered under the ACA and which have been blamed, in part, for causing the hefty increases in premiums that ACA plans saw this year. GOP leaders promised to fix that problem by letting individual states decide what should be covered.
It’s a numbers game now. Yesterday, about 30 GOP lawmakers appeared to be in opposition, according to the Wall Street Journal. Republicans can only lose 22 of their own, or the bill will fail.
Republican Rep. Brian Mast of Florida supports the bill and warned holdouts last night that they can’t get everything they want all at once, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I’ve never been in a battle where we’ve won it in a single shot. The replacement of the Affordable Care Act is not any different. It’s going to take a couple shots to win this battle.”
Source: Wall Street Journal