GOP Tries New Tactic in Attack on Obamacare’s Mandate

Republicans plan to tie a delay to measure that would address one of Medicare’s most vexing flaws.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L), and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), stand together during in a media availability following a House Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol, on November 2, 2011.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Clara Ritger
March 10, 2014, 9:42 a.m.

In the latest pro­pos­al to stall Obama­care’s man­date that all Amer­ic­ans have health in­sur­ance, House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor has sched­uled a Fri­day vote to tie it to the per­man­ent “doc fix.”

The vote is on a bi­par­tis­an, bicam­er­al pro­pos­al to re­peal and re­place the broken sus­tain­able growth rate for­mula used to de­term­ine Medi­care pay­ments made to phys­i­cians. That pro­pos­al — also known as the per­man­ent doc fix — has stalled as Con­gress searches for a way to pay for its $138 bil­lion price tag.

GOP Rep. Mi­chael Bur­gess of Texas is the spon­sor of the House ver­sion of the bill, which car­ries a delay of the Af­ford­able Care Act’s in­di­vidu­al man­date as its pay-for.

Delay­ing the in­di­vidu­al man­date by one year would save $9 bil­lion, the Con­gres­sion­al Budget Of­fice es­tim­ates. That’s be­cause few­er people would have health in­sur­ance or en­roll in Medi­caid, sav­ing the gov­ern­ment bil­lions of dol­lars as few­er people seek sub­sidies for in­sur­ance premi­ums or get care at all.

How long of a delay the le­gis­la­tion calls for in or­der to cov­er the cost of the per­man­ent doc fix has yet to be an­nounced. But the pro­pos­al is sure to be ve­toed by the pres­id­ent if not shot down in the Sen­ate.

Ty­ing the SGR talks to the in­di­vidu­al man­date fur­ther slows the ne­go­ti­ations on how to pay for the pro­pos­al, which had the Amer­ic­an Med­ic­al As­so­ci­ation in Wash­ing­ton last week to pres­sure con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship to get it done.

If Con­gress does not reach agree­ment on the per­man­ent doc fix by March 31, phys­i­cians who provide ser­vices to Medi­care be­ne­fi­ciar­ies face a 20 per­cent pay cut.

Passing the le­gis­la­tion would be a big achieve­ment for Con­gress, which has voted every year since 2003 to stop the cuts to doc­tors’ pay that are man­dated to take ef­fect by SGR for­mula at a cost of roughly $150 bil­lion. The per­man­ent fix car­ries a lower price tag than in pre­vi­ous years, which is why key stake­hold­ers such as the AMA and poli­cy­makers in­volved in the ne­go­ti­ations had been pos­it­ive about the po­ten­tial for a long-term solu­tion.

What We're Following See More »
“HORRIBLE” AND “PAINFUL”
Trump Addresses Threats On Jewish Community Centers
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
COULD COME TUESDAY
Trump Set To Issue New Travel Ban
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Donald Trump is set to issue a new and more focused executive order clarifying the scope of his travel ban, hoping that the order will survive legal challenges. The new order would focus on the same seven countries, "but would only bar entry to those without a visa and who have never entered the United States before. Unlike the original order, people from those countries who already have permanent U.S. residency (green cards) or visas would not face any restrictions." Some lawyers believe the government will now have much stronger standing, though lawyers who challenged the initial order see the same core problems with the forthcoming ban.

Source:
KELLOGG WILL RETURN TO NSC COS
Trump Taps Lt. Gen. McMaster as NSC Head
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump announced Monday that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will serve as his next national security adviser, filling the void left last week by the sudden dismissal of Michael Flynn. ... Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who had been serving as the acting national security adviser since Flynn's exit, will return to his role as chief of staff of the National Security Council." The pick was widely praised on both sides of the aisle.

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
3 days ago
BREAKING
WOULD HAVE REPLACED FLYNN
Harward Turns Down NSC Job
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down President Donald Trump's offer to be national security adviser Thursday, depriving the administration of a top candidate for a critical foreign policy post days after Trump fired Michael Flynn." Among the potential reasons: his family, his lack of assurances that he could build his own team, and that "the White House seems so chaotic."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login