The healthcare bill and why it failed
April 5, 2017
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On the campaign trail, one of President Trump’s key points was his promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare. On Friday, March 24, Trump decided to pull the proposed healthcare bill from the floor because of the bill’s inability to gain enough votes.
The proposed bill would lower premium rates for younger people. According to a Congressional Budget Office estimate, “a 21-year-old making $26,500 would pay $250 less a year.” But, the bill would raise premium prices drastically for older people. For example a 64-year-old woman would see her premium costs rise to $14,600 from $1,700, which is the premium for ObamaCare. The premium for a 64-year-old under TrumpCare is more than twice the annual income made by an individual that age. Unfortunately, 53% of people 65 and older voted for Trump in the election, so people that voted for Trump would see the highest spike in prices compared to millennials, 55% of which voted for Hillary Clinton.
The bill also faced backlash from many conservative organizations because it was too similar to Obamacare. FreedomWorks, a conservative libertarian organization, called the proposed bill “ObamaCare-lite.” The bill also faced controversy from unaffiliated organizations like The American Cancer Society that worried TrumpCare would leave poor cancer patients without “preventive” and “curative” care.
While the bill was still up for vote, on Wednesday it was reported that there were 29 house Republicans that opposed the bill; 21 “no” votes from Republicans would have lead it to failure. The Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of Republicans in Congress, vowed that they would oppose the proposed bill, which essentially doomed it from the start. They stated that their opposition to the bill was rooted in the fact that it cost too much and didn’t differentiate itself enough from ObamaCare.
Although both houses are controlled by Republicans, the bill would still have trouble reaching the finish line. If the bill did end up passing in Congress, it certainly did not have enough votes to pass in the Senate. The only way for it to pass in the Senate would be if House Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, were to change the bill to gain six more Republican votes. He did not seem too keen on the idea stating, “We will reach a conclusion on health care next week. We’ll either pass something that will achieve a goal we’ve been working on, or not.”
After the bill was pulled, Trump initially blamed house Democrats for the bill’s failure, but on Sunday, Trump tweeted, “Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!”
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, has faced much backlash as well. Jeanne Pirro, a Fox News host, called for Ryan to step down from his position and criticized him for proposing the bill, citing that he had seven years to create the bill and still couldn’t muster up the two-thirds majority needed. Coincidentally, on Saturday morning, Trump tweeted encouraging his followers to watch Pirro’s broadcast that night. Reince Preibus, White House chief of staff said that the tweet and subsequent broadcast were unplanned and that Trump spoke to Ryan on Saturday and expressed sentiments that he does not want him to step down.