Jan 12, 2017 (WASHINGTON) There are moments in United States History that are very significant, The night of the 12th of January might very well be one of those moments. The vote-o-rama that occurred overnight essentially has defined critical parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This also sets the stage for the ultimate repeal of Barack Obama’s signature legislation. We must explain what this is. Essentially it is a process where many amendments are offered in quick succession for a vote, with little to no debate.
The Republicans are fulfilling their promise, but there is nothing to replace it with. Moreover, Democrats offered amendments that put Republicans on the record as not supporting the following things.
- Protect people with pre-existing conditions.
- They are also blocking the plan to keep young people on their parent’s insurance until they are 26.
- Republcians also blocked an amendment funding contraceptions as part of insurance.
- They blocked an amendment expanding medicare.
- It also blocked an amendment blocking veterans from getting care at the Veterans Administration.
- None of these votes are binding. They are just putting republicans on the record. However, what passed defunds the ACA. This will kill it. In effect, they are putting millions of Americans off the insurance rolls, as high as 35 million.
The New York Times quoted two different Republicans as follows:
“This is our opportunity to keep our campaign promise,” said Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi. “This is our opportunity to help the president-elect and the vice president-elect keep their campaign promises and show to the American people that elections have consequences.”
Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, said that while working to repeal the health care law, “we must also talk about what we replace it with because repealing it without a replacement is an unacceptable solution.”
It is also quite true that republicans say they have different plans, but there is no agreement in what they want to do. Earlier in the month we ran the economic effect of the repeal for the United States and specifically California In California we could see the loss of at least 100,000 jobs directly related to healthcare.
This will soon go to reconciliation with the House. So many millions will be thrown out of health insurance. It may even throw the country into a recession. Let us quote, once again, fro the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Including the budgetary effects of macroeconomic feedback, repealing the ACA would increase federal budget deficits by $137 billion over the 2016–2025 period. That estimate takes into account the proposal’s impact on federal revenues and direct (or mandatory) spending, incorporating the net effects of two components:
Excluding the effects of macroeconomic feedback—as has been done for previous estimates related to the ACA (and most other CBO cost estimates)—CBO and JCT estimate that federal deficits would increase by $353 billion over the 2016–2025 period if the ACA was repealed.
Repeal of the ACA would raise economic output, mainly by boosting the supply of labor; the resulting increase in GDP is projected to average about 0.7 percent over the 2021–2025 period. Alone, those effects would reduce federal deficits by $216 billion over the 2016–2025 period, CBO and JCT estimate, mostly because of increased federal revenues.
It is done. Many conservative voters believed that the ACA was the worst thing ever to happen to the economy. We wonder if they will be able to see the effects of repeal. Regardless, credit where credit is due. Republicans are doing what they promised. Now it will be a question of how many cookie sales we will see again to pay for medical are. While the ACA has problems, going to the conditions before the legislation will inevitably increase income inequality and incidentally give a tax break to the wealthiest among us.