The Obamacare Saga Continues! What Will the Senate Ultimately Do?

The saga continues! Was the Cruz Amendment setup to fail? By pulling the amendment on Wednesday last week, the CBO scored the BCRA Bill without it. The fact that the bill that was voted down this evening had the Cruz Amendment and the new Portman Amendment added to it, that meant they needed 60 votes rather than 51 because any amendment that wasn’t scored by the CBO would require 60 votes to pass. As we saw, only 43 Republican Senators voted for it. Amazingly Capito, Portman and Hoeven voted yes while the other two Medicaid Whores voted NO (Murkowski, AK and Heller, NV).

I am angry that the Cruz Amendment was setup for failure! HHS Price shared a report last Wednesday night showing the incredible savings (decrease in premiums anywhere from $5K to $7K a year) for Americans that didn’t need Obamacare (95% of the Forgotten Men and Women that don’t receive Healthcare through their employer). Even the 5% that need to purchase Obamacare compliant Healthcare would have actually saved money compared to leaving Obamacare as is according to the report.

It now looks like the only piece of legislation that would have a fairly good chance of passing by the end of the week is a Skinny Repeal Bill. It would eliminate all the individual and employer mandates as well as eliminating the medical device tax.

This will cause the Senate to work with the House to create a bill that would later be voted on by the Senate and the House. That bill would still be a reconciliation bill requiring 51 votes in the Senate. The House Freedom Caucus has said that they want to see either the MacCarthur or Cruz Amendment in that final bill.

Keep in mind this all has to happen before October 1st in order to use the reconciliation process with the 2017 fiscal year budget. I think if we get close to that deadline without the votes, the House would take up the Skinny Repeal on its own because it would eliminate the mandates that everyone hated in the first place. Many more healthy Americans will tell the government and Barrycare to go fu…k themselves. They will not waste thousands and thousands of dollars on an Obamacare policy for themselves and/or their families.

This will drive even more insurance companies out of the exchange because those dollars from the healthy Americans would be gone and there won’t be any IRS collection. The 5% that need Obamacare will be the ones that will see their premiums rise by 20% on top of whatever increase has already been allocated by their state insurance company or companies.

The Medicaid Whores will be happy because not a single penny will be taken from them and their expansion lives on with no drop dead date in sight!

From the HHS Report linked above:

1) Current Law Enrollment Weighted Average – 2024 Low End Monthly Payment $770 / High End Monthly Payment $845

2) 2024 Silver ACA Compliant – 2024 Low End Monthly Payment $660 / High End Monthly Payment $590

3) 2024 Non-ACA Compliant – 2024 Low End Monthly Payment $200 / High End Monthly Payment $190

The numbers don’t lie! $570 less a month on the Low End when comparing 1 and 3 above and $655 less a month on the High End when comparing 1 and 3 above.

From the article linked above:

The Better Care Reconciliation Act went down, 43-57, with nine Republicans voting no: Susan Collins (Maine), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Rand Paul (Ky.).

At this point, the idea is for Republicans to just pass this smaller repeal ― which will likely get rid of the individual and employer mandates, as well as a medical devices tax ― and enter into a conference with the House so that Republicans can come up with some larger repeal-and-replace measure later.

The skinny repeal, while a less robust piece of legislation, would still manage to do much of the same. The CBO has previously said that similar legislation would lead to 15 million fewer people with health insurance and 20 percent premium increases. The legislation would, in short, produce the sort of death spiral that Republicans accuse Obamacare of producing.

The inclusion of the so-called Cruz amendment Tuesday night in the Senate replacement bill subjected the whole measure to 60 votes, as the Senate parliamentarian has not ruled whether his proposal conforms with reconciliation rules. If the parliamentarian found that Cruz’s amendment ― which would allow insurers to offer plans that don’t comply to Obamacare regulations so long as they offered at least one plan that did ― should be subject to 60 votes, it could be difficult for a final piece of legislation to address that issue as well.

And if House conservatives are making it a prerequisite that the conference bill eliminate at least some of those regulations that ensure people with pre-existing conditions are charged the same amount as healthy people, they could be setting up the whole process for failure.

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