…and what is the substantial difference between this bill and the previous one? Other than allowing states to opt-out of certain contingencies in Obamacare — nothing.
As in, this is not “repeal and replace” but enshrinement. From Reason.com:
The amendment, which was reported last night by Politico, would allow states to apply to opt out of some of Obamacare’s community rating provisions starting in 2018, to override the federally mandated essential health benefits rules and set their own starting in 2020, and to charge individuals based on health status, provided a high risk pool or some facsimile to cover the sickest patients.
But Obamacare’s major insurance regulations would remain on the books at the federal level, as the default national option, which would mean that federal policymaking under either Republican or Democratic administrations would revolve around those rules.
…and according to that same Politico article, Brat is now a yes vote on the Ryan health care bill, even though the amendment addresses precisely zero of the concerns Brat outlined in his op-ed some weeks ago.
So where’s the poison pill, you ask? Going back to the Reason article, it is right here, ladies and gentlemen:
Nor is it clear that the opt-outs would actually be used. The majority of states are currently governed by Republicans—yet as health policy analyst Chris Jacobs notes, not one has even hinted at interest in applying for a waiver. And although the new amendment appears for a speedier and more straightforward application process than states have seen in the past with other types of federal health policy waivers, it still leaves significant room for a future administration to deny states their requests, should they submit them.
So not only is it the promise of extending opt-in policies that are frankly already available, Brat caved on… a phantom promise, one that a future Democratic administration would not be bound to keep. Nor are there Republican state legislatures even indicating there is an ounce of interest in opting-in to Obamacare.
But at least Dave Brat will be holding the door open for them, right?
With rumors circling that the AHA vote might come as early as this Friday evening and Dave Brat’s social media pages getting lit up like a Christmas tree? Perhaps Brat will waffle again and change his mind, as he is apt to do.
…but if this was going to be the endgame? Just vote it up the first time, dammit… don’t pretend to be keeping a promise to repeal and replace just to bend the knee and submit to what four weeks ago Brat himself called a bad deal.