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MAY 12, 2017
A dumb statement,, at best. Senate Democrats formally asked Republicans on Tuesday to cancel their plans to repeal Obamacare, insisting that the troubled health law’s future must be guaranteed before any of their members will work with the GOP. A total waste of time and loss of reality. Republicans said the request was an admission that Obamacare is in trouble, but added that the solution isn’t to double-down on more government control and the only way to rescue the health system is to free it from the restrictions the 2010 law imposed.
Democrats’ role in the current debate generally has been to defend the 2010 Affordable Care Act and to taunt the GOP for its fits and starts at repeal. Now as action shifts from the House to the Senate, where Democrats have a greater say, they’re beginning to face questions about whether they’ll play a constructive role in trying to stabilize the health insurance markets.
Democrats have floated ideas aimed at cutting costs by expanding the federal footprint in health care. They include creating a government-run “public option” to compete with private plans, offering more generous subsidies on the exchanges, allowing the government to negotiate down drug prices and lowering the eligibility age of Medicare, the government insurance program for those aged 65 and older.
Republicans say Obamacare is growing too expensive
for the government and consumers. They say market-based solutions are the
best way to address rising premiums and insurer exits that have threatened
to leave vast parts of Iowa and Tennessee without a single insurer on their
Obamacare exchanges next year.