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Where now on health care reform?

By Sen. Mitch McConnell
Press Release, July 17, 2017

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following statement regarding a vote to repeal Obamacare:

“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.

“So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”

https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov...

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By Donald J. Trump
Twitter, July 17, 2017

Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!

https://twitter.com...

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Comment:

By Don McCanne, M.D.

Just what Quote of the Day readers need - one more opinion amongst the plethora of reactions to the failure of Sen. McConnell’s effort to herd through a bill that could be labeled as “repeal and replacement of Obamacare.” But instead of predicting what might or will happen, let’s skip forward to what the response of single payer advocates should be. There will be no surprises here.

The Republicans want something that they can cite as fulfilling their six year long promise to repeal Obamacare, but that has been complicated by the revelation that their replacement proposals are “mean” and thus opposed by the majority of Americans.

Without going into the various permutations and combinations of what the politicians may do, a few facts stand out:

* The Republican replacement proposals really are mean. Through several mechanisms they would make paying for health care more of an individual responsibility when health care has become so expensive that many Americans simply would be unable to pay the out-of-pocket expenses that the Republican proposals would require. More physical suffering and financial hardship would be inevitable.

* The desire to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has been based on the very real deficiencies that have left too many Americans uninsured and underinsured. The Democratic politicians are making overtures that they are willing to work with the Republicans as long as the Medicaid expansions and the improvements in the individual insurance market are protected. Although a few Republicans might find some common ground here on policy, the majority would reject this as an acknowledgement of the defeat of their effort to repeal Obamacare, a bitter pill to swallow considering the intensity and passion of their opposition.

* The concept of single payer - an improved Medicare for all - continues to grow in popularity and is now favored by a majority of Americans. Even a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives have now agreed to cosponsor John Conyers’ H.R. 676 - the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act.

* Although the Democrats in Congress are now coming out and saying that they support single payer, most of them say that our task now instead is to protect the Affordable Care Act. And after this crisis has been averted? They say that we should elect more Democrats in  2018 1n 2020 so that we can move forward with real reform - enacting a “public option” and maybe even enacting a Medicare buy-in for those over 55! Sorry. You can consult the PNHP website to see why these proposals would have hardly even a negligible impact on the health care problems that face us today. The Democratic position is essentially an endorsement of the unsatisfactory status quo.

So what are we to do? Just what we are doing, but a whole lot more of it. We cannot let Americans forget that the Democrats’ Affordable Care Act is grossly inadequate and fundamentally is not amenable to patches. We cannot let Americans forget that the Republican replacement promises proved to be mean (catching even Republicans off guard).

But, above all, we have to emphatically reinforce in the minds of Americans what it is that they find captivating in the single payer model of reform - affordable, accessible, equitable health care for all. That’s right. No surprises. Just health care justice for all.

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