Republican lawmakers unveiled yet another healthcare bill Monday night, and it spells even more doom for Americans seeking medical coverage.
Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act, pushed early in his presidency, was promptly criticized as disastrous for potentially leaving 24 million more Americans without health insurance. CNN reports that the latest attempt to repeal “Obamacare,” with no replacement, could increase to 32 million more uninsured Americans, for a total of 59 million people potentially without health insurance in 2026.
After AHCA failed to garner enough votes in the House, Republican lawmakers went to work on an alternative. Their May iteration of AHCA passed the House, but in the last few days key Republican Senators made it clear they wouldn’t support the Senate’s amended bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
In light of this latest failure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the worst plan yet — repeal Obamacare without offering a bill to replace the healthcare law.
In addition to leaving even more people without health insurance than under the original AHCA, the bill would double premiums by 2026, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
It would also eliminate federal subsidies that help people afford individual coverage, eliminate Medicaid expansion starting in 2020, and defund Planned Parenthood for one year.
Although the bill would decrease federal budget deficits and increase funding for substance abuse and mental health, it would repeal taxes on a variety of wealthy individuals and health care businesses, and the estimates on how it wold reduce the deficit doesn’t include the cost of a replacement.
The latest bill appears to be a desperate act to save Trump’s–and the Republican Party’s– hellbent attempts to reverse Obama’s legacy. But like the GOP’s other attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (over 60 attempts to be precise), this will unlikely go over well with Republican constituents, who often rely on Medicaid and other government programs.
Given this perpetual push-pull between Republican lawmakers who feel solidarity with Trump and a responsibility to the Obamacare-relying voters who keep them in office, the battle to repeal ACA could go on indefinitely.