Critics Pounce On Cruz’s Plan To Repeal Obamacare, Say It Would Cripple Market

When President Donald Trump took office, the GOP thought it would just be a matter of time before the repeal and replacement of Obamacare was pushed through. It still hasn’t happened, and that’s not something that can be pinned on Trump. Despite having a majority in the House and the Senate, the Republican Party has been unable to find the votes necessary to pass a solution. GOP leadership can’t even get members of their own party on the same page, and there’s not a prayer that they will have any luck in attracting some Democratic votes.

So where does that leave us? Not much further along than where we were when Trump took office. Solutions come forward and are quickly shot down, and the matter returns to behind closed doors. The cycle repeats itself, and insurance is not getting any cheaper for voters.

As CNN Money shares, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has interjected a new proposal into the conversation, and reaction has been mixed to say the least.

“His solution, which is being touted as a "Consumer Freedom Option," would allow insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer skimpier plans. One set of policies would contain all of the Obamacare protections, including covering those with pre-existing conditions, offering all 10 essential health benefits and limiting consumers' financial exposure,” CNN reports. “The other plans would not have to adhere to these rules, allowing them to offer less comprehensive policies at a cheaper price.

Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, is all for it.

"It is encouraging to see Senate leadership exploring the merits of serious proposals that would inject much-needed consumer choice and competition into an otherwise deteriorating market," he said.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, disagrees.

"If there were a Joy of Cooking for insurance, this would be the perfect recipe for destabilizing the market and turning the marketplaces into high-risk pools," he said.

As does Ceci Connolly, CEO of Alliance of Community Health Plans.

"You are increasing the likelihood that there will be some smaller, sicker group with higher rates," she said. "That's what you want to get away from."

Partisan talking points and money shots aside, there’s little to no chance that Cruz’s solution will make any traction. Why? Simple. It’s not a solution that works for everyone, and that will lead to endless barking from special interest groups that are affected thusly. Sad, but quite true. Quite simply, it’s going to be next to impossible to come up with something that would be passed with ease. Should it really be that hard? Definitely not, and that should be a clear sign that things need to change.

Special interests aren’t going away, and insurance companies are not going to suddenly decide to be philanthropic. So how can we move forward? The swamp draining that Trump has referred to hundreds of times would help a lot, as would a Congressional hearing with insurance industry executives that outlines the company’s profit margins and pay packages for key players. Will that happen? Probably not, but we’ll dare to dream.

Source: CNN Money
Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

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