President Trump has demanded that GOP senators return their attention to repealing and replacing Obamacare, despite failing to rally enough votes to pass the Republican-inked Trumpcare bill, or a straight repeal of the healthcare legislation.
Yesterday, Trump ordered Republican senators to stay in Washington until they could enact a measure to roll back Obamacare and “replace it with something better,” according to a New York Times report. Trump threatened that any senators who stood in the way would signal to their voters that the supported the current system.
“I intend to keep my promise, and I know you will too,” Trump said, according to the Times report.
The last ditch effort comes only a day after Republicans attempted to force a vote on a straight repeal of Obamacare – an effort which failed when 3 Republicans came out against it.
A straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act would result in 32 million individuals losing their insurance over the next 10 years, and premium increases of approximately 25% next year, and by nearly 100% over 10 years, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.
In their report, the CBO said that a repeal-only bill would result in insurers dropping out of the marketplace as soon as next year, and would leave approximately half of the nations population without any ACA insurers by 2020, which would increase to about 75% by 2026.
“Once you get something, it’s awfully tough to take it away,” Trump said, according to the Times.
Overshadowing the renewed interest in a new repeal and replace bill was the news that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a common but also very malignant brain tumor.
“The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation,” the operating hospital said in a statement released by McCain’s office, according to The Hill.
The news forced Senate GOP to delay a vote on their healthcare plan, slated for this week, to the next.
Senate Republican leaders could be looking to sweeten the pot with $200 billion in assistance to states which expanded Medicaid, according to a separate report from The Hill.
The funding would be paid for by leaving ObamaCare’s net investment income tax and Medicare surtax on wealthy earners, according to the report. The move is primarily looking to win wavering moderate Republicans, but could upset conservatives who would prefer to see funds used elsewhere.
Republicans are also considering using planned tax reforms to eliminate the 3.8% Net Investment Income tax if they can’t manage to pass a healthcare bill that repeals and replaces Obamacare.
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady said that the levy is “incredibly anti-growth,” and that it would be under consideration during tax reform efforts.