Crosstalk: July 27, 2017
Twila Brase is the president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom. Their mission is to protect healthcare choices, individualized patient care, as well as medical and genetic privacy rights.
Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted on healthcare, but there's a lot of misunderstanding regarding what they voted on, what it means, what it doesn't mean etc. Twila explained that they were voting on the motions to proceed to vote on the bill. In other words, it was a vote on whether or not they would actually take a vote on the bill. The vote passed, 51-50. Vice President Mike Pence held the tie-breaking vote. Since it passed, that allowed them to take another vote on the bill last evening. That vote failed.
This isn't the end because once they voted to proceed, they voted to start what Twila described as a 'vote-a-rama'. They expect it to be on Thursday.
Twila next described a 'skinny repeal'. This would involve repealing a few things that are part of Obamacare such as the employer and individual mandate, the tax on medical devices and maybe one other item. With that option she feels they could get the Republicans who voted 'no' yesterday and obtain passage of a bill. Once again, this would in no way repeal Obamacare.
If they get this kind of bill passed, two things could happen: The House could take the Senate bill, bring it over and pass it, or there could be a conference committee where the two sides come together and hammer out a brand new bill. As Jim noted, if the latter takes place, any vote is an up-or-down vote.
Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is seeking any health bill that can get 50 votes. He wants to know what the lowest common denominator is that will get them there so that they can move forward with healthcare legislation.
Twila responded by saying that they have never tried to actually repeal the law. If they had, we would have known exactly who really supported repeal and who didn't. They don't want to do that. So they're trying numerous 'tweaks' so that they can say they did something but they're not trying to repeal the law. So what we have going on is pieces of repeal and pieces of replacement.
This is why the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom has put out 'The 3 Parts of the Affordable Care Act'. They did this because they don't think that the American public understands what's really in the 2,700 pages or the 20,000 pages of regulations. So they did a simple, 3 part explanation so that people could understand what's going on.
Part 1 is about the aspect of Obamacare when you enter one of the state exchanges or healthcare.gov. Part 2 is about the things people are hearing about such as premium increases, higher deductibles, narrow networks, mandates, penalties and subsidies. Part 3 deals with something most don't even know exists. It's about the takeover of the complete insurance and medical delivery system. It involves the 159 agencies and work groups that are part of the system.
There's much more to learn and Twila will sort it out when you review this edition of Crosstalk.
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