Rand Paul frustratedly walked out of the Republican Obamacare repeal meeting

Posted February 19, 2017

Republicans circulated the plan at a meeting of the House Republican Caucus meeting on Thursday, right before they headed home to their districts for the next 10 days, according to NBC News. They have voted over 60 times to repeal Obamacare when they knew Obama would veto it.

The plan comes amid mounting frustration from the chamber's conservative wing, who want to see their leaders move faster on repealing Obamacare and made a decision to coalesce around their own replacement plan Wednesday after discussions over potential changes to the health care system slowed. It would repeal the Medicaid expansion that most states adopted under the Affordable Care Act, which allowed able-bodied people with incomes just above the poverty line to become eligible for Medicaid coverage.

If you're familiar with that scene, or can conjure an imaginary game of similar design, and if you follow national politics, you understand that Republican Party operatives in the White House and in Congress are having a hot-potato moment. They added they want to have a vote on their plan within days of a repeal vote.

They're still stuck between their promises that health care after Obamacare will be "much less expensive and much better", as Trump put it, and the reality that upending the Affordable Care Act inevitably will result in millions of people being worse off, while some unknown number of people might be better off. Republicans are unified on repeal but there's been no solidarity on a replacement.

Late last month, Ryan mapped out a timeline for Obamacare's repeal, telling GOP colleagues the House would dismantle the bill in March or April.

On one of the most contentious issues, Republicans would gradually change Medicaid, which helps poor people and people with disabilities afford healthcare. But repealing the ACA would mean a huge tax windfall for the richest Americans: $33,000 a year for the top 1 percent, while increasing taxes on the middle class. This president likes to say a lot of things that lack the foundation of substance. "He's not going to do that".

Republicans made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a major promise of their election campaigns a year ago. As health-care programs go, Medicaid is a cheap option, with relatively low costs and low rates of inflation. Might they raise other taxes, something that's been anathema to the GOP for decades?

The two documents are outlines of an initial approach by House Republicans and are the first printed summaries of a GOP health care plan since the election of President Trump.

Here is what we are working to do: We will first send in a rescue crew to fix temporarily a collapsing health care market so Americans who buy individual insurance can continue to do so while we build a better set of concrete, practical alternatives.

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"I don't sense any bickering amongst the Republicans or any of that", said Kennedy.

"There's going to be a temptation for policymakers to take the easy way out" and simply let deficits rise, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.