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Washington Republicans “Scrambling” to Come Up with New GOP Health Care Agenda, Doubling Down on Repeal

The White House is actively weighing a new plan to dismantle the health care law for Trump to tout on the campaign trail

A new report from the Washington Post spotlights how Republicans in Washington are “scrambling” to come up with a health care agenda that they can run on in 2020 – and the status right now is disarray and disagreement between GOP senators and President Trump’s White House. The story notes the GOP’s “sense of vulnerability on an issue that Democrats successfully used in 2018” and fears of a repeat of that strategy in 2020.

“Against the advice of many congressional Republicans,” the White House is actively weighing a new plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act for Trump to tout on the campaign trail. The health care proposal under consideration by the White House “largely follows the outlines of a 2017 Republican bill” that failed – the Graham-Cassidy plan that would have eliminated subsidies for low-income consumers, radically restructured and deeply cut Medicaid funding, and undermined protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“As long as Mitch McConnell and his spineless Republican majority are running the Senate, access to quality, affordable health care is going to be under attack,” said Stewart Boss, DSCC spokesperson. “Senate Republicans have voted over and over again with their party leaders and special interest donors to increase health care costs and strip away coverage protections for their constituents, and that’s what’s on the line in 2020.”

To highlight the recent two-year anniversary of the Senate GOP’s failed repeal votes, the DSCC released a video last week featuring vulnerable incumbents trying to defend their agenda and touting their vows to “keep trying” to take our health care system “back to the way it was before” when people were discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition. The DSCC has consistently called out the GOP’s reckless attacks on Americans’ care, running digital ads this year holding Republicans accountable for their toxic records. Two years after their failed attempt to repeal the health care law that has helped millions, Republicans still “have no credibility” on voters’ “most important” issue.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Washington Post: White House races to come up with health-care wins for Trump’s campaign

By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey
July 31, 2019

Key Points:

  • White House advisers [are] scrambling to create a health-care agenda for President Trump to promote on the campaign trail…
  • The furious push reflects the administration’s sense of vulnerability on an issue that Democrats successfully used in 2018 to win control of the House of Representatives. White House officials are eager to inoculate the president against a repeat of that strategy in 2020 — and reduce the GOP disadvantage on an issue that pollsters say plays to Democratic strengths.
  • Health care is already playing a starring role in the debates and Democrats are sure to assail Trump for his attempts to eliminate coverage for millions of people by challenging the Affordable Care Act in court.
  • White House officials are also weighing an Obamacare replacement that Congress would take up after the election… according to two senior administration officials.
  • The administration is currently arguing in federal court to overturn the law… with a decision expected late summer or fall.
  • Against the advice of many congressional Republicans, White House advisers are also working to craft an Obamacare replacement plan that Trump could campaign on, especially if the Fifth Circuit should declare the law unconstitutional this fall and catapult the issue to the forefront of the 2020 races.
  • Some GOP lawmakers and strategists worry about rolling out a plan that has no chance of passage in the current Congress and that Democrats could pick to pieces during a long campaign. Many also have little appetite to return to the debate over repealing Obamacare.
  • Nonetheless, the White House is considering a plan, put together by conservative think tanks, that would eliminate the ACA’s subsidies for low-income consumers and replace the open-ended federal commitment to Medicaid with a lump-sum payment for each state in the form of a block grant, according to a copy posted online. The proposal largely follows the outlines of a 2017 Republican bill, which the Senate never voted on because it did not garner enough support.

Read the full story here.

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