They’re at it again! For like the 60th time, Republicans are pushing to dismantle Obamacare.
The latest is the sickly named “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015” sponsored by none other than that Darth Vader of anything that actually helps people, the Senate Leader himself, Sen. Mitch McConnell.
The only thing standing in the way is President Obama’s veto, which the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) says he would.
Here’s how the OMB explains the Administration’s position:
The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of the Senate amendment to H.R. 3762. By repealing numerous, key elements of current law, this legislation would take away critical benefits and health care coverage from hard-working middle‑class families. The bill also would remove policies that are expected to help slow the growth in health care costs and that have improved the quality of care patients receive. The Senate amendment to H.R. 3762 detracts from the work the Congress could be doing to foster job creation and economic growth.
The Affordable Care Act is working and is fully integrated into an improved American health care system. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions is a thing of the past. And under the law, health care prices have grown at the slowest rate in 50 years, benefiting all Americans.
Repealing key elements of the Affordable Care Act would result in millions of individuals remaining uninsured or losing the insurance they have today. An estimated 17.6 million Americans gained coverage as several of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions have taken effect – 15.3 million since the beginning of the first open enrollment in October 2013. The Senate amendment to H.R. 3762 would roll back coverage gains and would cost millions of hard-working middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage they deserve.
Repealing the health care law would have implications far beyond these Americans who have or will gain insurance. More than 150 million Americans with employer-based insurance would be at risk of higher premiums and lower wages, or losing their coverage altogether. It would raise taxes on certain middle‑class families. The Senate amendment to H.R. 3762 also would defund the Prevention and Public Health Fund, limit women’s health care choices, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals.
This legislation is being considered by the Senate just days ahead of the December 15 deadline for Marketplace coverage that starts on January 1, 2016. Rather than refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, Members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle‑class families, and create new jobs.
If the President were presented with H.R. 3762, as amended by the Senate amendment, he would veto the bill.