GOP Proposes Full Repeal of ACA Regardless of Supreme Court Ruling
I’m going to put the ramifications of the GOP’s decision to strike down any portion of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare/HCR/Health Care Reform) that the Supreme Court leaves intact in the widely expected decision that is to be released tomorrow up front.
Provisions that the GOP would eliminate, and which have already gone into effect include the following:
- coverage for preexisting conditions;
- 10% tax on indoor tanning;
- insurers are prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays, in new policies issued;
- dependents are allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26;
- insurers are prohibited from excluding pre-existing medical conditions (except in grandfathered individual health insurance plans) for children under the age of 19;
- insurers are prohibited from charging co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles for Level A or Level B preventive care and medical screenings on all new insurance plans;
- closing a portion of the donut hole on Medicaid Part D;
- reduces (and would eliminate by 2014) insurers’ ability to enforce annual spending caps;
- prohibits insurers from dropping policy holders when they get sick;
- flex spending accounts, health savings accounts, and health reimbursement accounts cannot be used to pay for OTC drugs
Effective August 1, 2012, all new plans would be required to cover preventative screenings such as mammograms or colonoscopies, and womens’ preventative screenings would have to be covered without cost sharing. All this is part and parcel of PL 111-148.
The GOP has made it clear that they would still move to repeal the whole kit and caboodle because that’s what they’ve staked their electoral chances on.
If the Supreme Court leaves any part of the law intact in its ruling on Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a Wednesday morning press conference that Republicans will move to strike those provisions down.
‘Now we all know the Supreme Court is likely to make some announcement about Obamacare tomorrow,’ Boehner said. ‘We made it pretty clear, and I’ll make it clear one more time: if the court does not strike down the entire law, the House will move to repeal what’s left of it.’
They want to repeal the President’s signature achievement in full - rather than fixing the parts that need to be fixed even as the GOP, and former President George H.W. Bush proposed using the individual mandate improve the health care delivery system and reduce costs. At the time, even the Heritage Foundation was for the proposal.
It went nowhere after Bush lost reelection in 1992, and when President Clinton proposed a single payer system, the GOP then offered up an alternative - individual mandate. Now, the GOP fully opposes the individual mandate, even as they originated the idea.
It’s all about the politics, but the optics don’t look good for the GOP either - and if they move to kill what’s left of the ACA after the Supreme Court rules, you can bet there’s going to be one heck of a fight on their hands precisely because many of the provisions already enacted provide extended coverage to hundreds of thousands of people who would not have coverage otherwise (consider the dependent coverage to age 26 alone).