Even as their efforts to rush another dangerous, half-baked repeal bill in Congress fail, Republicans are continuing to drive up health insurance premiums through their long campaign of sabotage. Simultaneously, they are continuing to ignore calls to join Democrats for a bipartisan fix, instead investigating new and different ways to pass their dangerous plans with as few as 50 votes.
With their latest attempt to dismantle the health law on track to fail this week, GOP senators are already raising the prospect of going after it again with the same powerful tools that currently let them pass legislation with just 50 votes.
While the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the repeal push under fiscal 2017 must die after Sept. 30, Republicans could provide reconciliation instructions for both health care and tax reform in the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that Congress must pass to again unlock the fast-track procedural powers.
The uncertainty over what, if anything, Congressional Republicans will do could drive premium increases of 20% or more when insurers finalize contracts for next year on Wednesday.
“Senate Republicans are hurting Americans for political gain right now. Today,” said David Bergstein, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman. “And despite their repeated failures, Republican Senators like Dean Heller and Jeff Flake would apparently prefer to stay that course and immediately drive premiums higher for families, than work across the aisle to reduce costs. It’s not just that every single plan Republicans have released has been dangerous for our middle class, it’s that their refusal to work with Democrats at all is causing harm right now.”