Senate Dems put Republicans on the Spot Over Junk Healthcare Plans
Last March, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin sponsored a bill (Fair Care Act) to block President Trump’s plan to allow insurers to sell short term or what is frequently called junk plans. Senator Baldwin bill would reverse all of what the Republicans attempted to do with short term plans by reinstating protections for pre-exiting conditions, maintaining the community benefit costing of the plans, blocking life-time cost limits, etc.
Senator Tammy Baldwin:
“As someone who was branded as a child with the words, ‘pre-existing condition,’ I want to make sure that no parent, foster parent or grandparent has to choose between helping their child get better or going bankrupt,” said Senator Baldwin. “Republicans pushed repeal, but promised they would protect people with pre-existing conditions. The Fair Care Act is an opportunity for lawmakers to keep their word on guaranteed protections for pre-existing conditions.”
The bill is more symbolic than anything as it will not get past Senate Republicans. Senator Baldwin was using it as a way of emphasizing the hypocrisy of Republicans promising constituents at home support of healthcare-for-all regardless of pre-existing conditions and then not supporting pre-exiting condition as we know it to be in healthcare while in Congress. As an example, the Republican AHCA which failed by one vote (McCain) would have established subsidized Risk Pools and insurance companies could have charged higher premiums for pre-exising conditions.
More on this beyond the 13 minute Risk Pool Part YouTube clip by Charles Gaba at ACA Signups which is an update to Why Republican Short Term Healthcare Plans “Suck”. In this version, Charles explores in depth what will happen when the Mandate is eliminated and people either drop out on healthcare altogether or go to short term plans. Charles also ads a solution to subsidies stopping at 400% FPL.
I am hoping you took the 13 minutes to view Charles Gaba review of the impact of the mandate elimination and short term plans implementation plus his solution to the needed relief for those beyond 400% FPL. In the end, we are back to where we were at pre-ACA.
Moving on to Tammy Baldwin’s Fair Care Act and the vote. Under the purview of the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the ability to reverse federal regulations within a certain time window; Senator Baldwin was able to introduce a resolution to unwind the Trump administration’s expansion (Executive Order) of short-term insurance plans. Senator Baldwin had the 30 votes needed to force a vote reversing the Executive Order on short term plans. Normally this vote would have never seen the light of day; but this time, McConnell could not stop it.
October 10, 2018 the Senate voted on Senator Baldwin’s S.2494 – Fair Care Act. Forty-nine Democrats and one Republican voted for Baldwin’s resolution, while fifty Senate Republicans voted for an expansion of junk insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and do not have to provide essential health services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care. Senator Susan Collins was the lone Republican voting with Democrats. It failed in the Senate.
by run75441 (Bill H)
Yes, now the ACA is a winning issue for the Dems. As is, and should be, attempts to move towards single payer and total coverage.
But why not in 2010 and onward?
“In 2009, when Barack Obama traveled to Bristol, Virginia, for a town hall to promote the Affordable Care Act, his motorcade passed a small but turbulent protest. I was raised just outside this small Appalachian city, and even then, three years after graduating from high school, I knew it desperately needed health care reform. At the time, according to data compiled by the Urban Institute, almost a fifth of Bristol’s residents under age 65 had no health insurance—one of the highest rates in the state. And yet, when Obama arrived, people greeted him with signs that read SOCIALISM ISN’T COOL and OBAMA: “GOD” DECIDES LIFE AND DEATH NOT YOU OR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE.
Six months into his first term, Obama was facing this kind of opposition not just in Bristol, but nationwide, even in districts he’d won the previous fall. Alarmed by conservative talk radio hosts and the constant harping of an intransigent Republican Party, many Americans believed that the ACA would rip apart the fabric of American life. “No one should be surprised at the coming embrace of euthanasia,” conservative columnist Cal Thomas warned.
Despite the opposition, Democrats were promising that Obamacare would eventually boost their chances in elections, as Americans gradually came to see the benefits of the law: It made sure that preexisting conditions were no longer cause for discrimination, and gave people with diabetes, cancer, and other serious conditions a chance to afford health insurance. “As people learn about the bill, it’s going to be more and more popular,” Senator Chuck Schumer said in March 2010. “By November, those who voted for health care will find it an asset, those who voted against it will find it a liability.”
What Schumer predicted never happened, at least not that year. A few months later, the GOP picked up 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate. A study published the following year estimated that at least 13 House Democrats lost their seats because of their support for the law. With the Tea Party sweeping into office, the ACA threatened to drag Democrats down.”
Course, the racist backlash against a black man in the white house played a large role in the Rep attacks. And that can be shown further by the incredible obstruction of Reps for the next 7 years, including the Garland seat theft.
But one of the unnoticed factors in the effectiveness of these GOP attacks on the ACA was the compliance of progressive voters with the GOP. The “leftier than thou” group(see Naked Capitalism) that spent years attacking the ACA as Dems (and especially Obama) giving into insurance companies and selling out the people for corporate donations(we sure saw that again). My favorite was the constant claim that Obama could have gotten single payer passed if he just used the pulpit. No need for those people to consider how legislation is made, they just knew.
So you had the rise of the Tea party (really just the renamed john birch society who had been in the closet for decades, and funded mainly by the kochs who had their own history with the john birch society) absolutely fertilized by the black potus actively attacking the ACA, while “leftier than thous” were actively attacking the ACA from their side of the issue.
This led to the unpopularity of a program which discouraged dem voters for years, all for a program that helped millions and millions of americans but somehow was not lefter enough for many.
This foreshadowed the disgraceful display of the berniebros and saradonistas at the Dem convention which led me to worry about the election for the first time. Sure, there was all the bs about the primary(and it was almost total bs) but watching these peoples’ actions at the convention filled me with fear.
“As Sarah Silverman asked for party unity at the Democratic National Convention, hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters erupted in boos, in a deafening cacophony that made it hard to hear the rest of the speech in the stadium.
“Can I say something?” the comedian, a fellow Sanders supporter, asked. “To the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people, you’re being ridiculous.”
Want to bet those ridiculous people were not the same progressives that attacked the ACA on a constant basis for years and years? They discouraged Dem voters about the ACA for years and years, and then did so about clinton.
One of the biggest reasons trump is president.
This is a good piece you write. Thank you for it. I was fortunate to team with Maggie Mahar who introduced me to many facts and issues. It is still not over. The ACA was a huge step forward. Perhaps as Charles Gaba suggests we should hold subsidies for all capped at 8.5% of salary at the >400% FPL. Thank you for your comment.