When the GOP first unveiled its replacement for Obamacare, it was met with rather lackluster results, seeing as how it didn’t really accomplish all that Donald Trump promised it would.
While there are many pieces of the Affordable Care Act that would go the way of the dinosaur should the new legislation be passed into law, the big argument against it is that it isn’t a full repeal and replacement, seemingly leaving the restrictions that prevent folks from buying insurance across state lines.
The big promise of the bill was that this would be removed, increasing competition in the marketplace and lowering the cost of healthcare coverage. However, we’ve been assured by Speaker Paul Ryan that this will come with phase two and three of the plan’s rollout.
There is a bit of good news with this first phase. According to Vice President Mike Pence, one thing that must be accomplished with the overhaul is defunding of Planned Parenthood, an honorable mission that all conservatives can get behind.
According to CBS News, Senior administration officials say Vice President Mike Pence has made it clear to groups and to GOP lawmakers that oppose abortion rights that the White House wants to defund Planned Parenthood in the health care bill to replace Obamacare.
Pence is scheduled to meet Friday with a variety of groups opposed to abortion rights at the White House. He has already made it clear that the emerging Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement bill will defund Planned Parenthood. He will also discuss concerns among these advocates that Hyde Amendment language barring taxpayer funding of most abortions through Medicaid be retained in the new bill. The groups opposed to abortion rights also want to see language in the bill that prevents the use of tax credits for abortions.
The current bill seeks this as a policy outcome, but such language may not survive a parliamentary challenge in the Senate, where opponents could argue it is a policy position that is not explicitly tied to raising or lowering federal spending. Policy initiatives unrelated to federal spending can be stricken from bills that are passed through Congress using the 51-vote majority reconciliation process. Reconciliation is the legislative procedure that prevents a filibuster of bills that conform to spending targets and/or include budget savings. Language that creates policy outside of explicit budget line items can be challenged in the Senate.
Pence, according to officials, has pledged to work on the issue to retain the Hyde Amendment language, first approved by Congress in 1976 and amended to allow funding for abortions in cases of rape or incest in 1993.
Nothing would be more pleasing to the ear than to hear the sound of liberals across the country crying their eyes out about the loss of federal funding for the largest wholesale slaughter of children in America.
Is that enough to overlook the other faults and failures with this thing? That remains to be seen.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]