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Leaders in Congress Want to Take On Health Care Again. Why?

President Trump wants Congress to step up to the plate and take another swing at the Affordable Care Act. But this second replacement plan is even worse than the first.
Leaders in Congress Want to Take On Health Care Again. Why?
By Pablo Ros ·

For years, right-wing lawmakers claimed that if they got control of Congress and the White House, they would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act without delay.

The 2016 election gave them that control. Last month, Republican House leaders came up with a repeal proposal President Donald Trump called “wonderful.” It was supposed to be a homerun. The result was, well, embarrassing.

Now, Trump is asking Congress step up to the plate once again and take another swing at ACA. Last week, some right-wing lawmakers announced an amendment to their failed proposal that they claimed would attract the necessary support to pass.

But this second replacement plan would be even more damaging than the first. Working people won’t be fooled.

As AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders put it, “Repeal-and-replace 2.0 includes all of the same deeply unpopular elements of their previous bill, plus it adds provisions stripping away some of the most universally popular and important elements of the Affordable Care Act. It still will lead to skyrocketing costs for older Americans. It still defunds Medicaid in order to give tax handouts to corporations and millionaires. Now, their plan also guts protections for pre-existing conditions and allows insurers to drop vital coverage like maternity care.”

The plan, Saunders said, would return the country to the days “when those with health conditions won’t be able to afford coverage at all or won’t be able to get a plan that includes the very coverage they need.”

As we approach the 100th day of the Trump presidency, Trump desperately wants to show that his tenure has been more than just a series of strikes. But it’s unlikely he will get a chance to land a hit. Keeping the government open may not count as a major achievement, but on Saturday House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would devote his energies to doing just that, making it unlikely that that the health care proposal will come up for a vote this week.

If congressional leaders and Trump take another shot at passing an ACA replacement bill, they will do the country much harm. We’ll soon find out how many more times they try and swing.

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