The stalling of the health care bill has put increasing pressure on President Donald Trump and the new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Together, both of them are presented with the intricate task of managing the law, which remains increasingly unfavorable among most members within the Republican Party itself. In addition, they will also need to pacify the strong Democrat opposition in regards to the stalling of the law.
To prevent a further losing of support, the House GOP leaders have called off a vote recently, which was part a three-pronged plan in repealing and replacing the heavy mandates set by Obamacare with free market reforms. In addition, it would get increasingly difficult for the GOP leaders in initiating phase two of the three-pronged plan without the repeal.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said after the collapse of the GOP bill that, “This bill would have made what we call phase two much, much better. Nevertheless, I think there are some things that the secretary of HHS can do to try and sort of stabilize things, but really we need this bill to make it better.”
The absence of the bill would entitle the HHS secretary in only making minor changes like reducing the kinds of drugs or services covered. Moreover, the policy analysts point out that he would be unable to cut them below the coverage prescribed in the employer-sponsored plan.
The setting up of high-risk pools for helping states subsidize on high-risk patients and in liberating healthier people in choosing their plan types has also been touted by the Republicans. “That is not now going to happen, and therefore he won’t be able to deploy that policy tool that we think is better than Obamacare,” Ryan added.
Due to this, HHS has been forced to reconsider its efforts by commencing the offering of immediate relief from Obamacare to patients, insurers, and state leaders. They are also lessening the eligibility required for “special enrollment periods” that allows people in signing up outside of the normal enrollment season.
The most crucial decision the White House is facing is in deciding whether to continue with the cost sharing payments. This is important since millions of customers under Obamacare with 100 to 250 percent income of the poverty line rely on these payments. However, Obamacare supporters are never expecting Trump to repeal the program.
In addition to that, reports say that President Trump has already spent $5 million in ads on the Obamacare website. The Democrats have been prompted by these and have called for an independent probe by the HHS inspector general.