AMAC On Capitol Hill / Politics

A Seat at the Table

Vice President Mike Pence, center, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, second from right, meet in the Eisenhower Executive Office with representatives of conservative political groups, including Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner, left, Bob Carlstrom, second from left, of the Association of Mature American Citizens and American Conservative Union Chairman Matthew Schlapp, right, to discuss their plans for repealing and replacing ObamaCare Building in Washington. PHOTO: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

By – Parker Erickson

On Friday, Mach 10th, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price, M.D., met with prominent leaders of the conservative movement in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss the GOP health care bill, the American Health Care Act, introduced early in the week.  This “listening session,” was meant to give conservative groups the opportunity to voice their concerns, support, and ideas for the Administration’s efforts to fully repeal and replace Obamacare.  Each group was able to voice their constituents’ concerns and ask questions about the “process” to fully repeal and replace.

Among those in attendance was Bob Carlstrom, who advised that AMAC supports this bill as a first step on the road to complete repeal.

“Obamacare has had seven, long years to expand Medicaid, kick people off their private insurance plans, and raise premiums and deductibles by astronomical amounts,” Carlstrom said. “Repealing and replacing Obamacare will be a multi-step process.”

Vice President Pence and Secretary Price reiterated to all groups in attendance—the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a starting point for larger reforms to make health care more accessible, higher quality, and more affordable for all Americans.  Extending an olive branch to groups in attendance who are less-than-enthusiastic about the current GOP plan, Vice President Pence and Secretary Price reiterated that their doors are always open to new ideas and perspectives that will improve the bill while keeping it within the restrictive requirements of the Reconciliation process.

During the meeting, the Vice President and HHS Secretary laid out a three-part roadmap for Americans to expect from the Administration.  The first step is the passage and implementation of the American Health Care Act.  Essentially, the AHCA eliminates the mandates and burdens of Obamacare, lets insurance companies compete again, and empowers patients get used to the fact that they will be making their health care choices again—not the government. The second and third steps, as Secretary Price explained, are to use his administrative and regulatory authorities to continue to shift burdens away from health care consumers while Congress enacts real changes like expanding Health Savings Account use, returning Medicaid spending power back to the states, and selling insurance across state lines.  This three-fold plan is meant to use executive, departmental, and legislative power to restore patient-centered health care.

Following the nearly hour-long conversation, all in attendance were walked to the White House West Wing to meet with President Trump in the Oval Office.  After a brief exchange between the President and the conservative groups, Mr. Carlstrom and Mr. Trump were able to talk briefly about how supportive AMAC is of Mr. Trump’s presidency and how AMAC is fighting for the values of conservative seniors all over the country.  As Mr. Trump said to Mr. Carlstrom on the way out of the Oval, “Man, I’m glad I know you guys!”

White House Press Release

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57 Comments on "A Seat at the Table"

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Bill O’Reilly had an excellent breakdown of the current positions regarding a new health bill. Check out his website. Whatever resolution is agreed to should include MANDATORY compliance by all elected officials. That would take their hands from under their butts.

If Obamacare had required the political elites and big unions to only use the un-Affordable Care Act for their healthcare, it would have never been enacted.

If Congress won’t repeal Obamacare outright, and it looks like they won’t – then DON”T DO ANYTHING! Let Obamacare implode and let the people scream about their crappy health care!!!! Wake up the kool-aid drinking leftist who think Obamacare is their salvation! Then it’s all on the Democrats who put this crap in place! Then the Republicans should come to the rescue with MARKET solutions that actually work and help the American people see that Government is NOT the answer for all our problems!!! The only way to get Government instrusion out of our lives is to be able to show America that GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM!!!! Fixing Obamacare will NOT DO THAT!

Carol, I am compelled to respectfully disagree with you. The more Obamacare implodes, the more the government will intrude with even worse programs than we have now. We need to eradicate Obamacare in its entirety and replace it with legislation that will allow free market solutions and greater empowerment of the individual, something the law now forbids. Allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines is a good start. Tort reform to put limits on lawsuits is another step. You wouldn’t believe how much the average doctor pays for malpractice insurance.Let the free market in and keep government out. I agree with you, government is the problem.

What difference does an hour make. They have had 7 years to come up with a plan. The earlier and correct decision was to Repeal, not replace.
They haven’t got it right yet and it looks as though they never will get it right. To meet for an hour (or less) was a waste of time, as Congress has been known to do so on just about anything they get involved with.
Now, whether they call it Trump care or Ryan care, the Republicans will own it and let the Democrats get off scott free. Smart move, Ryan’s RINOS.

Exactly right. Pull the plug on it and the lazy people who don’t want to work(even though they are able bodied) lose their insurance. We will take care of those who are truly in need of assistance.


I agree with you 100 percent.

What’s all the talk of “repeal and replace”? The fundamental problem with Obamacare was not that it was a bad law, bad plan, unsustainable, or burdensomely expensive (although it is all of those things). The FUNDAMENTAL problem with Obamacare was that it inserted government into the healthcare industry. Don’t replace, simply REPEAL! Figure out an exit strategy that minimizes the pain of transition and get out of healthcare. Where in the constitution does it give government such powers over this industry?

Exactly right! Like I said, too many Republicans like big government as much as the Dems.

Exactly Andie ! The government never had any business being in the health care business. Unfortunately since Obama and the Democrats created the ACA monstrosity and turned the whole health insurance industry upside down the government has to do something to make things right. But the answer is NOT another government run health insurance monstrosity and that is exactly what the Republicans are now trying to shove down our throats. They should repeal Obamacare but not replace it with Trumpcare. The only thing that should be done is regulate the health insurance companies so they can’t rob us blind or leave people with no coverage. The government should make the health insurance companies sell insurance across state lines and set a cap on how much they can charge us, prohibit them from dropping people with preexisting conditions, or from refusing coverage to begin with, and make health insurance portable…not tied… Read more »
Step !: REPEAL OBAMACARE!!! Everything after step one should be only What is good for ALL Americans, including Congress you ain’t special as a matter of fact most of you could not function in a real job working fifty weeks a year. Must be Affordable (for all), No preexisting conditions (all inclusive), No Subsidies, Everyone pays!!!! Limit the “State Sanctioned Medicaid” max two years– after that Disability to be evaluated every two years. Everyone has a JOB– no matter how disabled you are– you can do SOMETHING– YOU DO HAVE AN OBAMAPHONE? Healthcare should be NO MORE than 5% of your income. No one promised you health care it is not a Constitutional Guarantee. No health insurance– then you pay your bill by working it off– dishwasher in the hospital, cleaning the floors, just PAY YOUR BILL. Illegals– patch them up for transport BACK to their Country of inception to… Read more »

Are you confused as to what an entitlement is? I have paid into Medicare all my life, and therefore am entitled to receive it. I, not the government hold title to it. Medicaid is not an entitlement, because most of the people who receive it did nothing to be entitled to it. Medicaid is a type of welfare, which is not an entitlement. I have paid from my earnings into Medicare, and Social Security, and it is a part of the earnings that were withheld from my salary, so I have earned them. Most people are mistaking an entitlement for welfare.

Yes, lets go back to the way it was before 2008 and then reform it from there, like allowing interstate commerce. Rand Paul seems to have a good plan, why not take a look at that?

While President Trump did indeed promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, it it doubtful that he was aware of the difficulty in how the process was to begin to do just that. I firmly believe that President Trump will do everything in his power to rid us of this monstrosity of a law (ACA). We who supported and elected him and ALL AMERICANS for that matter need to give him the time necessary to effect his promises. He has done so much in the short 55 days he has been in office. Now, give him the support and time he needs to fulfill his all of his promises!!!Again, after all, he has only been in office 55 days, and I believe the time will come when we can stand shoulder to shoulder with him and prove to the rest of the country, the politicians, and the world that we are… Read more »
The assumption that Trump is some woefully ignorant or incompetent babe in the woods is wholly incorrect. You don’t build a multi-billion global business empire by being either ignorant or a fool. The only item Trump may have erred on is the assumption that after six years, the Congressional Republican leadership had actually spent some time and effort to develop an intelligent, we’ll thought out plan to do a full repeal of Obamacare and restore some semblance of the health care insurance market prior to this abomination. Unfortunately, we all have learned the GOP leadership in both tge House and Senate did NOTHING for six years other than to make promises regarding a repeal of Obamacare to win elections. So now what both Trump and the American people face is a hastily crafted bill, with 3 separate steps spread out over almost 10 years by some GOP estimates, that MAY… Read more »

You are right PaulE. Republican leadership is leading everyone down the primrose path as they could care less about fixing this problem. Instead of working on it, they thought Trump would not win. Even after he won, they thought they could get away with this. I am amazed AMAC supported their crappy plan and I hope they will reconsider. AARP ruined healthcare in our country by supporting Obamacare to get their percentage of United Health Care sales. I hope AMAC cools it or I shall not be a member here.

President Trump is doing fine. The problem is RINO PAUL RYAN. He does not want Trump to succeed. He does not want to get rid of Obamacare. He could repeal Obamacare tomorrow. He will not do it. It must be repealed. They did it before and Obama vetoed it. We do not want or need Obamacare lite. We need full repeal. We need insurance to go back to the states to manage through their commissioners like they did before Obama destroyed the insurance industry and the American Health Care system. He succeeded ion his goal. He took over 20% of the economy and totally destroyed it. None of this was to help anyone. It was for power and removing choice and liberty from the American people. This is stupid and it must stop.

I agree this is a good first step but what assurance do we have on the other to parts and no mention was made of put the money back in to Medicare that was taken out for the affordable care act. These issues need to be address. The government needs to get out of healthcare.

We voted for repeal , complete repeal , not modify over the course of what , years? Obamacare is collapsing , let it . Figure out how to cover those with pre-existing conditions , but let the not so Affordable Care act completely fail

Why has no one come up with the number of people who got kicked off their private plans(you know the ones they actually paid for)? The only people the republicans are worried about now are these so called 14 million that will lose their Obamacare. Most of these people, not all, but most didn’t have insurance before because they didn’t play by the rules, i.e. GET A JOB that had health insurance benefits, even convenience stores and fast food restaurants had these benefits before Obamacare screwed it all up. I am not talking about people who truly needed assistance, either because of pre existing conditions or HONESTLY being unable to work. I am talking about those who felt the jobs available to them were beneath them or were just plain lazy. They didn’t deserve something the rest of have earned then or now.

Let insurance companies sell policies that cover you state to state, and let each state government and insurance commission setup the basis for the people, and let them decide what they want.
Rick Guignon, 11 District Delegate, AMAC

Rick, what do you mean “cover you state to state” ? Do you mean buying a policy across state lines to encourage competition? I think that is part of the plan, isn’t it? (Maybe Step 2?). I think it might be better to encourage a regional policy offering, since a lot of the eastern states are quite small in size, and closer in travel time. Originally, you could buy across state lines, but if your insurance office was in anther state, how could you get them to pay for something if they refused to honor their contract? You couldn’t, and just driving there was difficult. But now with the Internet, people have the clout to “out” companies that don’t meet their obligations and promises.

They say this is a 3 part system, what to say that if dems get back in power that they will follow thru with next 2 steps!!!!!
We elected the people to repeal not do some 3 part plan that may only have 1 part!!!

As far as I am concerned REPLACE is a four letter word!!!!!

These politicians, on both sides of the isle, keep telling us to just trust them. As far as I’m concerned they have burned up all the trust I have for them. I know that they are good at sitting on their hands and kicking the can down the road that’s why President Trump is presently sitting in the Oval Office. We may have control of both houses but it seems that campaign promises still mean absolutely nothing to our elected representatives. That fire you folks had in your bellies during the campaign seems to have burned down to nothing more than cold ashes.

Wow, two months and you are throwing the baby out because the bath water looks cloudy. Send them your solution instead of just compalining about it.

That’s two months and eight years of spineless stalling and inactivity. In my working years I would not have lasted a week at any job if I had their work ethic.

Rand Paul has been out there with the right plan – full repeal now and then take the time needed to come up with the right solutions. But the big government GOP members have chosen to ignore him. Ryan and others should be voted out in 2018.

This feels like Deja Vu all over again…

It seems to me that this bill is Mr. Trump’s version of Obamacare and nothing more. I fear that when Trumpcare implodes, the opposition will be in a perfect place to convince the American people that there must a be single payer healthcare system. That will mean they will win all the elections in perpetuity and it will leave our nation with no loyal opposition (us). Why don’t they work on a real, new bill now and present it to the people and repeal Obama’s nightmare at the same time? I agree with Carol. If they don’t totally repeal Obamacare now, it will never happen.

Senate conservatives have of sent emails with objections to this bill. Without answering this objections
how can AMAC claim to be a true conservative organization? Is AMAC asking members to take the
word of Ryan without an explanation of fact to these objections. Someone is not being true to the cause.

I totally agree with this statement. Rand Paul came out with a great plan, That doctor in Kansas who has a Co-Op is doing gangbusters. Why won’t they listen to anyone? The Kansas Co-Op involves $50 per month for adults and $10 per month for each child. Each Doctor has 600 patients. They have negotiated really low drug prices with the drug manufacturers and fill the prescriptions themselves. Customers carry catastrophic insurance in case of a major illness. Works well and costs a lot less Of course this does not fit into the big government, high cost mantra. They do not care about healthcare. They want to please the insurance companies and the tort lawyers. Not good.

Monthly costs are very high and dedductables are very very high that nobody can afford to use it. Then you have the poor who can’t afford it period and get Medicaid and pay nothing and get better care than those who have to pay high premiums of $1000 to $2000 a month and outrageous dedductables$6,000 to $9,000. The Constitution says that Congress will make no laws that exclude themselves from what the rest of us live by. Lies——————–

Where does the Constitution say that Duane? I think you’re confusing that idea with not making laws about the establishment of a national religion.

Doing nothing is not a proper option. Obamacare was designed to fail so that people would demand a single-payer (total government) program.

Nor is this Obamacare-lite Rino solution a proper option. President Trump and Republicans in Washington should deliver what they have promised.

The people gave Republicans the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives based on promises made. What they people have given they can take away. The Republican Party has been warned.

Will we know what is in it before it is passed or is this another pass it before anyone knows what might or might not be in it?

The bill has been on-line for over a week now Larry. So you can read the entire thing at your leisure and make your own assessment of the what is being proposed.

That’s real transparency! Hurray! No Pandora Pelosi’s Box full of vipers!

There are better plans being offered like Rand Pauls but the republican leaders won’t let them get any traction. Typical!

Here’s my problem with the three step approach to Repeal and Replace–decades of watching the federal government fail to follow through with planned additional steps, often instead opting to change course, or to drop a plan entirely. Other reasons I’m concerned with the success of the three pronged approach include my observation that after an initial crisis has been averted, the public adjusts to the crisis-averting changes and becomes comfortable and quiescent enough so that the din of support groups and lobbyists abates making it easier for Washington to delay and keep delaying next steps. When the need to follow-through is no longer immanent the incentive to move forward is no longer strong enough to overcome inertia. Meanwhile the public is assured that the issue–in this case government run health care–has not been forgotten. Experience shows that over time intentions are good but follow-through is not. Believing that, I have… Read more »

You are correct. They will not follow through on a 3 step plan. RINO RYAN wants to nuke Trump and destroy his Presidency. There are many more Republicans like him. They are both in the Senate and in the House. They are amazed he won and they want no part of doing want the citizens want. It does not fit their agenda and they are going to resist with all their might. Start praying if you are not already.

Repeal and replace