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AMAC In The Media / Politics

Why AMAC Supports the House Plan to Repeal & Replace Obamacare

Capitol Building ObamacareSince the GOP-controlled House introduced its plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (the ACA or Obamacare), there has been questions as to where the largest conservative seniors’ group stands on the issue.  The bill before the House this week is called the American Health Care Act, or the AHCA, and it’s received a mixed bag of responses from legislators in Washington.  Some conservatives have labeled the Republican proposal as Obamacare-light, and for 12 hours, the Democratic Caucus sought to rename the AHCA the Pay More for Less Act.

For years, AMAC has repeatedly called on Congress to repeal the Obama Administration’s failed health care law, and to put the power of health care choices back into the hands of patients.  AMAC’s ultimate goal has been and will continue to be the complete repeal and replacement of Obamacare.  As a first step, the AHCA lays the necessary foundation for more robust and necessary changes to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.

During our conversations with Freedom Caucus Republicans, House Leadership, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Trump Administration, AMAC has chosen to support the AHCA for the following reasons:

Obamacare is unsustainable

To our membership all over the country, this is not news.  Millions of seniors and millions of younger Americans have lost their coverage.  How often have we heard the promise, “if you like your plan you can keep your plan,” and “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor?”  Time has proven those promises false as millions of seniors and everyday Americans received insurance cancellation notices in the mail, and as doctors shuttered their doors to life-long patients.  Obamacare has failed.

While losing your doctor and plan should have been enough to discredit the law, Obamacare limped on for years, continuing to cause damage.  Anyone who’s watched the news (or listened to Democrats during the debates over the AHCA) has seen that in some states, premiums went up by over 100%.  Deductibles are through the roof, and even if you can afford to pay to be enrolled in insurance, you can’t afford your deductible and you can’t afford to see the doctor.

What good is health insurance if you can’t use it?  A plastic card that says you’re insured does not mean you have the health care you want, need, or can afford.  Something needs to be done before the entire system implodes.

Elimination of the individual and employer mandates imposed by the Federal Government

The AHCA eliminates the individual and employer mandates.  Last year alone, the IRS reported that 6.5 million people paid the individual mandate “penalty” for not having health insurance.  That’s 6.5 million people who would rather pay an annual, one-time penalty and go without insurance rather than pay the monthly premiums to enroll in insurance.  The Federal government should not be in the business of telling private citizens what they should or should not buy.

The repeal of the individual and employer mandates will save millions of dollars to individual Americans and stop the federal government’s obstruction of small business growth.  No matter what incentive, mandate, or fine the federal government imposes, some people do not want health insurance.  As freedom-loving conservatives, we understand that the government should have minimal (if any) input in how we live our day-to-day lives.  The AHCA rolls back the gross federal expansion of the individual and employer mandates.

Expanded use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

AMAC has long-supported the expansion of HSAs to improve individuals’ abilities to save for health care expenses.  While we feel this bill does not go far enough in expanding the use of HSAs, the raising of the cap on contributions to double what it is now is a good first step.

AMAC’s own HSA, the Trump HSA (named in honor of our president), would eliminate the cap on savings, allow patients to use their savings to pay premiums, and allow the HSA more portability and transferability.  Again, the operative word in the AHCA is first step.  While AMAC wants more out of HSA expansion, the AHCA opens the door to more robust expansion in the future.

It protects those who had no choice but to get on an Obamacare Exchange

While AMAC wants and calls for a complete repeal and replacement, the reality is that millions of Americans were forced off their private insurance plans and onto federally run exchanges.  We want the federal government out of health care.  We want the states to have more autonomy in determining what their constituencies need.  We need less bureaucracy in health care decisions.

But, we can’t kick millions of people off their plans when Obamacare forced them off their plans in the first place.  The AHCA slowly weens States off the bottomless pit of money Medicaid and other federally run exchanges have relied on.  As seniors know all-too-well, when spending someone else’s money (the taxpayers), governments are less careful than if they were spending their own money.

The AHCA protects those, who through no fault of their own, were forced into federally run exchanges and gives them an appropriate timetable to find alternative options.

It’s a first step

Repeatedly, we’ve heard from President Trump, Secretary Tom Price, M.D., and Republican House Leadership that this is the first step in the process to repeal and replace.  In fact, President Trump has said this bill is open to “negotiation,” and House Republicans are using “regular order” to get input from all sides of the political spectrum.

Already, the Republican House has devoted more time for debate than Obamacare did, and the open discussion is creating a blueprint for phases two and three of the Republican plan to Repeal, Replace, and Restore health care choices to patients.  AMAC is supporting this bill as a first step, and will be heavily involved in ensuring conservatives seniors have a seat at the table for phases two and three of the process.

Conclusion

AMAC has been and will continue to be the voice of conservative seniors.  Seniors mobilized in 2010 to take back the House of Representatives.  In 2014, seniors put Republicans in control of the Senate to stop President Obama in the final years of his presidency.  And, in 2016, seniors made America Great Again by electing President Donald J. Trump to be our 45th president.

Seniors have worked to take their country back and to ensure they leave a better, more prosperous future for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  This first step in repealing and replacing Obamacare isn’t about a single bill—it’s about returning power to the states, shrinking the federal government, and putting health care decisions back into the hands of the patients.

Just as seniors have done in the past, if this process does not lead to the results we want—well, our track-record is pretty strong.  We’ll hold our elected leaders accountable at the ballot box.

Read AMAC Letter of Support

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Jim

That’s all good but congress has to be under the same plan and not pass a bill and they exempt their selfs from it they have the greatest healthcare and the same thing with social security

Jon

We the people have asked for change to Obamacare since 2010. Thousands of Democrats have been fired in Local, State, and Federal elections. The Federal Government has shown that they are unable to perform the function of health insurer – the Veterans Administration is a good example and it only takes care of 1% of the population. Obamacare is falling into itself. If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. I have lost 2 doctors because of Obamacare. So now we have RyanMcConnellcare and unfortunately the GOP hasn’t learned anything over the last 8 years. The Elitist will never understand we the people. Repeal, Repeal, Repeal phase 1 – give me my liberty and let me find the insurance that I need. DON’T penalize me over insurance. I already pay taxes don’t need more.

A_Nobody

Simple answer….no. First, we’ll still be forced to pay for those who can’t afford it….including the refugees AND illegals until we can get rid of them. The point is that you are guaranteed the right to the pursuit of happiness but not the right to ask others to pay for it. AND if anyone was paying attention, one of Congress, and I think it was Ryan, stated those on Medicare would be included in a “voucher” system without giving details…..that’s a feel good move to make it sound good. Voucher system for what and how much? Give details so we can see how bad we’ll be screwed. It’s just a maneuver to cover up their theft from Medicare and Social Security systems for which we and our employers paid. I don’t trust Ryan or McConnell or any other RINO any farther than I can throw an elephant.

Les

So all of the votes to repeal were just for show, and they wasted years they could have used to craft a new healthcare plan. Like dogs chasing cars, they had no plan for what they would do if they caught one. If they cannot fully repeal and replace Obamacare in one bill, they should be repealed and replaced in one election!

Max

I’ve looked and looked, the searched more. Nowhere is “health care” mentioned nor addressed in the Constitution! As a practicing physician having the opportunity to practice before Medicare, I assure you, the citizens of our community had medical care, just not to the level of Congress.
I say, get the Feds out of doctor patient relationship and get the Feds out of the Fed too.

John Bruner

I am sorry that AMAC has bought the RHINO plan of Obamacare-lite, both houses and the President were elected to REPEAL Obamacare, now we get offered a plan to keep Obamacare (government run healthcare) with changes. AMAC’s position should be REPEAL OBAMACARE !!

John Bruner

Has AMAC determined yet that you stepped in it by endorsing the RHINOs ? A large number of your members came from those, like me, leaving AARP because of their support for Obamacare and non-conservative ideas. An equal number can leave this organization if the same ideas prevail. Repeal Obamacare.

Ellot

Repeal Obamacare in total then we can talk about what, if any, replacement is needed. This is going to be just like getting the wall built, amnesty is granted and the wall is never built. Paul Ryan is not our friend.

Dennis K Bethards

Aren’t the penalties higher to those without insurance (30% increase in premium) and the costs for seniors higher also? The promises that this is step one of 3 are weak and can in no way be construed as sincere.

Walter Ashford, sr

This is not REPEAL it is amend. Most of the Obamacare law us not about what you talk about, but it is about centralized command and control of healthcare. Only total repeal will change this and the present bill is mostly smoke and mirrors, just like business as usual. “We the People” will never shed the shackles of the ruling class in Washington until we shed both the Democrats AND Republicans and elect independent citizen representatives

Jones

No new plan will work for seniors until the 700 billion (Some estimates put it closer to 800 billion.) dollars striped from Medicare is replaced. Medicare is paying doctors 46 to 48 cents on the dollar. A majority of doctors in the area that I live in will not accept medicare patients. Seniors have been thrown under the bus and that’s where they will stay until some people in Washington start caring for something beyond their own fat life style.

Tom Wilde

We said REPEAL ObamaCare. Period. We did not say REPLACE ObamaCare with RyanCare or anything else. Now that the election is over the GOP is trying to ram their version of government health care down our throats. One of the basic tenets of Communism is government run health care. Control people’s health you control their lives and you control them. So what happened? The Democrat Communists are screaming to keep THEIR version of Communist control on us and the Republican Scummunists are racing to clamp THEIR version of Communist control on us. And oh, yes, give FREE health care to everyone flooding across our borders. Right, and everyone who legally belongs here PAYS for it all. What’s the difference between the Democrat idea and the Republican idea???? Nothing! REPEAL does not mean replace! What is it about the denizens who infest Washington, DC that they cannot comprehend that? Oh, and… Read more »

Patrick Johnson

The bill takes away the mandate and replaces it with tax incentives if you buy the insurance. That is still coercion. The federal government should not be in the business of redistribution of wealth in the first place. The federal government needs to stay out of my Healthcare entirely. Noncitizens will also be sharing in the tax credits, giving taxpayer funds to Noncitizens. Repeal the bill and stop messing with a system the federal government has no idea how to fix. There are answers out there that are already working if you just open your eyes.

Chuck

I hope the President sees through this scam and doesn’t just try to get “something/anything” to replace ACA. I have not figured out exactly how we went from a “free” employer benefit, or very inexpensive Blue Cross type coverage for self employed, etc. some 50 years ago, to the disaster many have lived with for 8 years. My suspicion is it is primarily hungry lawyers and the massive Medicare fraud, but then what do I know??

Linda

No. All I hear is “older Americans will pay more”.So far that has not been explained. I’m sorry you are supporting this because I no longer will support you . I have had a minor problem with my right hand since January I have paid nearly $1000 for nothing . And I don’t see anything different in this new so-called American health care fix. Medicare does nothing for me and neither does my supplement because of the out-of-pocket and there is no fix for that . The Rinos pushing this bill have ill-served the president

James

I agree with Jim we all need to be under the same plan. Congress and all the federal government system. It is like SS if we were under the same system the issue would be resolved. The same with term limits it’s Washington against the people who pay the bills. The total bill needs to be repealed. Ron Pauls plan seem to cover more and address the points than the Obama Lite plan Washington is pushing. Same rule follow the money.

Darryl

Someone please show me where the Federal Government has any authority being involved in any of this! This is an individual states issue and people should stop looking to the Federal Government for anything. Any support of anything other than full repeal and removing all involvement of the Federal Government is support of Progressive Socialism.

Robert R. Baker

What’s wrong with returning to the health insurance coverage prior to Obamacare? I guess the Trumpcare proposal is a step
in the right direction, but doesn’t go far enough away from ACA.

genie

Without a fixed schedule for subsequent changes get ready for a new but last government attempt at controlling healthcare and say hello to aDemocratRe I controlled Congress

Bill

AGREE