GOP: ‘Failing to repeal and replace Obamacare’ is ‘not a priority’
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s announcement to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a new, more liberal approach, the GOP on Tuesday night unveiled a plan to “get health care right.”
The plan, outlined in an op-ed by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the president’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, also proposes a new funding source for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help pay for state-level insurance reforms.
This funding, according to the op-er, would be dedicated to “failing to eliminate and replace” the ACA.
“As we head into 2018, we need to make sure we’re not failing to repeal, replace or dismantle Obamacare,” Price wrote in the op.
“It’s a failing that needs to end.
There is no reason to lose sight of what we need right now.”
The op-e piece was penned by Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, a position that requires him to vote in favor of a budget resolution.
The op is also notable for being written in the aftermath of Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, which he called “a disaster for America.”
“Our country cannot afford another disaster like the Paris Accord,” Price said.
“That is why we must act now to bring this country back to a level playing field.”
The budget resolution is set to be voted on by the House this week.
“We must act to protect the American people and their health, as well as our economy, by ending the Obama administration’s disastrous policies,” Price added.
“Repealing and replacing Obamacare is not a priority.
Instead, we must take action to create a level-playing field for American businesses and consumers and to ensure the United States has a strong infrastructure that protects and supports our businesses and workers.”
The GOP’s new plan would essentially double the current federal budget and provide $1 trillion to help states and localities enact reforms to help lower costs, which could include health insurance subsidies, tax credits and Medicaid expansion.
The plan would also give states more flexibility in how to fund Medicaid expansion, which would allow states to set their own rates.
The new budget would also create a $5 billion “Health Security Trust Fund,” which would provide money to help insurance companies expand their programs and help pay claims for individuals and families who are covered by Medicaid and the CHIP program.
The fund would be administered by the states.
Price said in his op-eds that the fund would help create a national health care system that is “more resilient, more competitive, and less reliant on the federal government.”
“The United States must move beyond its broken Obamacare replacement system, which is failing and costing our country dearly,” Price writes.
“The Affordable Care is not dead.
It has not gone away.
We must get back to work on getting it right.”
Price added that his goal is “to ensure that the Americans who currently rely on Obamacare for their health care have the choices and options they deserve, with the certainty that we are providing them the best possible insurance system.”
While the op was published ahead of a vote on the budget resolution, Price’s comments come after a series of public comments by members of Congress who have voiced their concerns about the proposed budget.
The president on Tuesday announced that he was cutting $200 billion from the federal budget over the next decade, which the White House has argued will save the government $5 trillion over the coming decade.
“I’m cutting this, I’m cutting that,” Trump said.
As for how the cuts would be paid for, Price noted that he is “a big fan of the tax cuts” proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R,WI).
But he added that he would also be working to pass a “continuing resolution,” which the House has already approved and which would fund the government through the end of September.
“In fact, I am not the only one who wants to pass this continuing resolution,” Price stated.
“Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution for the government to remain open through Sept. 30.”
While Price has no specific plan to fund his cuts, the fact that he’s not putting a budget in writing suggests that he believes that it’s not a top priority for the president.
And even though the plan appears to be a budget, Price did not specifically mention it during his remarks.
“Our economy needs a $2 trillion plan, and that plan is getting done,” Price told reporters.
“There are other ways we can help create jobs and stimulate our economy.”