Tag Archives: obamacare

Get Ready for $1,000 IUDs and $1,600 Colonoscopies Under Trumpcare

We’ve been living high on the hog these last few years: getting mammograms and colonoscopies whenever we need them, vaccinating ourselves against cancer-causing viruses for free, preventing unwanted babies from showing up in our wombs without having to spend our rent money to do so. But those days might be over soon,…


Things Jimmy Kimmel’s Baby Should Have Done to Deserve Health Care, According to Republicans

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel delivered a tearful monologue last night about his newborn son who was born with a heart defect and had life-saving surgery at just three days old. And today, Republicans are trying to get the votes to pass a health care law that will make it next to impossible for people like Kimmel’s…


Right-Wingers Are Lining Up Behind the New Healthcare Bill

In an announcement on Wednesday, the House's right-wing Freedom Caucus said it has agreed to back the revised version of the Republican healthcare plan, the Hill reports.

After first helping to sink the original Republican healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the group of ultra-conservative House members decided to lodge its support behind the bill following a few changes. Lawmakers managed to appease the group after tacking on the MacArthur-Meadows amendment, which essentially lets states opt out of certain Obamacare rules.

Under the new amendment, states can choose to offer high-risk pools and decide whether or not they want insurers to cover some services like maternity care, preventative visits, or mental health benefits, the Associated Press reports. States would have to apply for federal waivers if they wanted to skip out on some of the existing Obamacare provisions. Although the amendment offers states a bit more flexibility, Freedom Caucus members admit that, for them, it still doesn't go far enough.

"While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs," the group said in a statement. "We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare."

The Freedom Caucus boasts roughly three dozen members, giving the bill a boost toward the 216 House votes it needs to move to the Senate. However, the new amendment isn't likely to garner a ton of support from moderate Republicans, many of whom are still against the AHCA and concerned with how it could allow states to weaken protections for people with preexisting conditions. 

"The amendment doesn't address the things that I had concerns about—the things I think are detrimental to the people I represent," Representative Dan Donovan, a centrist from New York, told Politico.

Obama’s Getting $400K for His First Private Speaking Engagement

After kitesurfing with Richard Branson and talking to youth leaders in Chicago, former president Obama has agreed to speak at an upcoming private engagement for a financial firm—for the going rate of $400,000, FOX Business reports.

Obama has reportedly agreed to talk at a healthcare conference for Cantor Fitzgerald LP—a Wall Street investment bank—in September. According to FOX Business, he's scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the luncheon, but the firm is just waiting to work out all the details before making an announcement. 

Obama, who condemned Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis, may face some of the same criticism that Hillary Clinton did for giving private speeches for financial firms prior to her campaign. During his presidency, Obama referred to some bakers as "fat cats" and slammed their "irresponsible actions" that led to the Great Recession. Now he's accepting almost half a million dollars for a single Wall Street speaking engagement, double what Clinton was charging.

Still, it's pretty normal for former politicians to charge such high fees for private speeches. Former president Bill Clinton was once paid $750,000 for a single speech, and George W. Bush reportedly charges between $100,000 and $150,000. Even Sarah Palin managed to pull in $100,000 for a speech, according to Politico

But that all pales in comparison to what companies were shelling out to hear Trump talk—a whopping $1.5 million in some cases. Now, listening to Trump say "big league" (or is it "bigly"?) is just something the public gets to enjoy all the time for free.

Psych! The Republican Healthcare Plan Isn’t Dead After All

On Friday, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) came to the end of its brief and unfortunate existence. The bill—put forth by House Speaker Paul Ryan and praised by President Donald Trump—was criticized by both Democrats and many Republicans, and despite efforts by House leadership to ram it through the legislative chamber as quickly as possible, it died a sputtering death when it was abruptly pulled before it could be voted down. 

"Obamacare is the law of the land," Ryan said at a press conference Friday. For his part, Trump seemed content to let the Affordable Care Act "explode," suggesting that the Republicans might move on to other legislative matters, like tax reform. 

But that turns out not to be the case entirely. In a call with GOP donors on Monday, Ryan reportedly said that he plans to continue working on healthcare and will unveil some new ideas at a retreat later this week. 

"When we're in Florida, I will lay out the path forward on healthcare and all the rest of the agenda," Ryan said, according to the Washington Post. "So please make sure that if you can come, you come—it will be good to look at what can feasibly get done and where things currently stand. But know this: We are not giving up."   

Ryan also took what seemed to be a barely veiled shot at the Freedom Caucus, a group of cantankerous far-right House Republicans who played a major role in taking down the AHCA. According to the House Speaker, "10 percent of our people" were responsible for the defeat.

What was left unsaid was how Ryan would get the Freedom Caucus onboard with any Obamacare replacement without losing votes from moderates who might balk at that group's demands to take away all of the law's benefits. And though Ryan said he had spoken with Trump multiple times over the weekend, and insisted his team and the White House were on the same page, it's far from clear that their combined influence will lead to a healthcare bill actually becoming law.

Follow Harry Cheadle on Twitter.

Trump’s Attempt to Repeal Obamacare Just Crashed and Burned

After weeks of drafting, hiding, debating, and tweaking a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans scrapped it just minutes before a scheduled vote on Tuesday. ACA repeal, which the Republican Party has been promising voters since the bill was signed into law by Barack Obama seven years ago, is suddenly in doubt.

The Republican-backed American Health Care Act (dubbed "Trumpcare" by some) faced resistance from legislators on both sides of the aisle—Democrats objected to a bill that would cause millions of people to lose health insurance, and some conservative Republicans were upset it didn't strip enough provisions of the ACA. Despite President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan's best efforts to ram the AHCA through Congress, it was clear by Friday afternoon that they couldn't get enough Republicans onboard. Ryan reportedly went to the White House to tell Trump the votes weren't there, and hours later the speaker officially announced the bill would be pulled.

The loss is a big-league embarrassment for Trump, who threw his full support and a handful of tweets behind his first major legislative effort. He told Republicans that he wanted to move on from healthcare if they couldn't manage to pass the AHCA today. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, were willing to admit that this was a failure.

"You can't pretend and say this is a win for us," Republican representative Mark Walker said, according to the New York Times.

"Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains. We're feeling those growing pains today," added Ryan. "This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard," he added. "All of us, all of us—myself included—will need to time to reflect on how we got to this moment."

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter