As I watched the news last week, I felt betrayed.
For 7 years the Republicans in the House screamed about how Obamacare was a bad law and Americans should give them the chance to Repeal & Replace it with a better plan.
Last November America gave them everything they asked for. We expected things to change. However, all we got was confirmation that the Republican Party was dysfunctional.
While most Republican in the House of Representatives understood that they would have to dismantle Obamacare one piece at a time, there was a small group of them that wanted a full repeal of Obamacare in one piece of legislation.
Sadly, those ultra-conservatives refused to compromise with the majority of Republicans and rather than compromise their ideals, they allowed a terrible law to continue.
Although their intent was not to side with liberal representatives, their actions resulted in the same out-come. Obamacare will continue to be the law of the land for at least another year.
To say I feel betrayed by members of the, so-called, “Freedom Caucus” would be the best way to describe how I feel.
TIP MY HAT TO NANCY PELOSI
I still think that Nancy Pelosi is a vile, hateful individual. However, I have to admit that she plays the game of politics better than Paul Ryan. She was able to convince a majority of her Democrats to vote into law a bill that most of them never read.
TIP MY HAT TO PAUL RYAN (grudgingly)
As for Paul Ryan, he did everything he could do, as Speaker of the House. The problem he faced was that the AHCA was less than 150 pages when it was introduced. Republicans actually read the proposed law and rather than the Democrats who blindly voted the way Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama told them to in 2009, Republican law-makers were prepared to cast informed votes.
My only problem with the way Paul Ryan handled things was that he pulled the legislation from the floor before a roll-call vote was recorded. As a result, America will never know who the betrayers to the Republican Repeal & Replace effort were.
It is probably a good thing that I am not Speaker of the House. I would be inclined to force those betrayers to caucus with the Democrats for the rest of this congressional session and ask the RNC to target getting rid of those hard-liners during the primary elections next spring.
CURRENT HEALTH INSURANCE RULES
The failure of congress to Repeal & Replace Obamacare does not mean the end of the struggle. While it may mean that those Republicans who vowed, during last year’s campaign, to Repeal & Replace Obamacare were exposed as liars last week, the effort to dismantle Obamacare with administrative rule changes can now begin in earnest.
President Trump gave the Republican congress the chance to Repeal & Replace Obamacare legislatively. They blew it.
Now he is free to work through Secretary of HHS Tom Price to change Obamacare rules administratively. He can change 1400 aspects of Obamacare without the need to consult congress. All HHS is required to do is notify them of its intentions and give the American public a chance to comment.
There are two potential problems with administrative changes to Obamacare.
- Administrative changes can take a longer time to go into effect. Because of the requirement to have a period of time for the American public to comment about any potential change done through HHS, it can take 90-120 days before a non-emergency administrative change can be put into place.
- Administrative changes are more temporary. If Obamacare had been Repealed and Replaced by congress a future president & congress would have had to go through the legislative process again. They would have to get agreement from 218 members in the House of Representatives and 60 members in the Senate. On the other hand, any changes made by the Trump administration can be reversed by the next president.
The fact is that a legislative change would have been much better, in the long run, but since that is not an option, at least for now, administrative changes are the best hope for relief for the middle-classes, for now.
With a little luck, Repeal & Replace will happen in the coming months and years, but for now, it has lost all of the momentum it had after the election.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS NOW?
Nothing has changed, regarding health insurance. At least for now.
The rules may, and probably will, change later in the year, but or now, at least, individuals can only change plans if they qualify for a Special Election Period.
Also of note, at least to me, is that most insurance companies do not offer a PPO option to individuals in many areas of the nation. However, there are still some PPO plans available to small businesses in the group marketplace.
There are 3 nice things about group plans.
- Many doctors/hospitals who will not accept patients with individual health insurance plans will accept patients with group PPO plans.
- Group plans are available to small businesses with as few as 2 employees or one owner and an employee.
- Group plans are not subject to the same Special Enrollment Periods that individual plans are. A business can enroll in, or change groups, at any time of the year.
Tim Barnes, CLU is not qualified to help people in every state. His license is only good in the State of Texas.
Texans looking for health insurance options can use the contact form below to tell Tim what you are looking for.