Time for your checkup: The latest on Republicans' health care overhaul efforts

Here's what you may have missed about the GOP's plans to overhaul the health care industry

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 8, 2017 1:12PM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

The Republican Party's attempt to craft an Affordable Care Act replacement bill is running into more and more problems, especially after more and more is known about the bill and its effects.

Here's the latest in what we know about the GOP's Trumpcare plan.

Republicans don't think the Congressional Budget Office is going to be too kind to their bill

Although the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office has not yet issued its findings regarding the cost and effectiveness of the repeal plan, Republicans are already anticipating negative results and attempting to discredit the CBO in advance, according to Politico. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi said he has "never been one who worried too much about scores because there are constraints that the bean counters have to operate under that don’t necessarily contort with reality."

Similarly, House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R- Texas, said that "it’s not unusual to not have a CBO score at this point and when we get it, it will reflect only this first step. We have multiple steps going forward to complete the plan which will also lower the score and increase the coverage amounts. When we get the CBO plan, just understand that is just a small piece of the overall replacement plan."

Rep. David Brat of Virginia, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, claimed that "CBO has scored everything wrong forever so they’re a minor concern."


The health care bill could inadvertently weaken our defenses against bioterrorism — or abet an epidemic

The Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides 12 percent of the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, would be on the chopping block under the Republican repeal plan, according to NBC News.

In addition to providing basic services like delivering vaccines and monitoring infectious diseases, the fund also works to "help ensure that our nation is prepared against emerging threats such as bioterrorism and Ebola and other infectious diseases," explained Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen to NBC News. The money ($931 million for 2017) is also used to help prevent major causes of death in America today, such as hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

There are other serious concerns about the bill
Analysts who spoke to The New York Times on Tuesday say that "millions of people who get private health coverage through the Affordable Care Act would be at risk of losing it under the replacement legislation proposed by House Republicans . . . with Americans in their 50s and 60s especially likely to find coverage unaffordable."
Although the plan would replace income-based premium subsidies with age-based alternatives, the age-based ones won't wind up covering as much of the costs as the income-based ones currently do. Standard & Poor's already estimates that two to four million people would feel compelled to leave the individual insurance market as a result of the new plan. The tax credits provided by the new plan, because they are constant regardless of where the consumer lives, would wind up being less effective for individuals in areas (mainly rural) with higher costs of insurance. It would also eliminate assistance to low-income people for their out-of-pocket costs and cause premiums to increase by eliminating the individual mandate.

President Donald Trump is warning his House Republicans that there will be a "bloodbath" if they don't pass the replacement bill

Trump made it clear to Republicans in the House of Representatives that, if they fail to replace the Affordable Care Act with their newly minted Affordable Health Care Act, there will be a "bloodbath" against the GOP in the 2018 midterm elections, according to CNN. Trump also told them that he planned on supporting the House-proposed plan "100 percent" and vowed to pressure skeptical members of the Republican Party into toeing the line. He reiterated his support for their bill later on Tuesday to an assembled press pool, saying "I'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives and encouraged by members of both parties."


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Congressional Budget Office Donald Trump Obamacare Repeal-and-replace