The American HealthCare Act
(AHCA) of 2017-MAR is dead.
This topic is continued here from Part 4 at the previous page
2017-MAR-24: More about the cancellation of the AHCA bill -- a.k.a. Trumpcare or Ryancare:
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, (D-MD) said:
"This bill went down today ... because the majority of the representatives of the American people in the House of Representatives thought this was a bad bill. [It] went in the wrong direction, left 24 million people behind. I hope we can work with the administration and with the other side, and not just abandon this effort." 1
Reviewing the AHCA, Doug G. Ware, et al. of UPI said:
"The Republican plan did share some similarities with the ACA [a.k.a. Obamacare], like mandating coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and providing insurance subsidies. Unlike the Obama law, though, it would have reduced subsidies and Medicaid spending, and [would have] used those savings to cut out taxes for wealthy Americans and medical companies.
Lawmakers in the conservative Freedom Caucus panned the bill because they said it didn't go far enough in repealing the ACA. Trump attempted this week to persuade the holdouts with a warning that Republicans could lose control of Congress next year if they didn't approve the bill. On Monday, several changes were written into the package to assuage lingering concerns." 1
Withdrawal of the AHCA also ends a financial threat against Planned Parenthood (P.P.):
Also on MAR-24, President Trump tweeted:
"The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!"
Many in the government, almost exclusively Republicans, have promoted the elimination of all government grants to Planned Parenthood -- a national group of women's centers across the U.S. A clause in the AHCA bill would have defunded PP.
P.P.'s 2013/2014 annual report lists some of the activities at their 650 affiliate health centers:
- 65,464 family practice services,
- Almost 1.2 million pregnancy tests,
- 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections,
- 3.6 million contraception related services,
- Almost a million cancer screenings including breast exams and Pap tests,
- Many prenatal services. 2
A survey during 2016 found that 26% of patients interviewed at a Planned Parenthood site said it was the only place they could go where they live for the services that they required.
Their health centers provide services to millions of people annually. They report than about 80% of their clients receive contraceptive services to prevent future unintended pregnancies.
The main opposition to Planned Parenthood is because they also perform abortions. During 2014, women received 323,999 abortions at PP clinics. 3 This is approximately 35% of the 926,200 abortions that were performed that year in the U.S. 4
During 2017-JAN, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) said:
"... we don't want to commit taxpayer funding for abortion. And Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider. ... And we don’t want to commit people’s taxpayer dollars to effectively funding something that they believe is morally unconscionable." 5
Ryan may have been misinformed.
In reality, Taxpayer funding and Planned Parenthood are unrelated. By law, no federal government funding to PP is allowed to be used to financially support abortions.
The objection that some conservatives have towards Planned Parenthood is that government funds contraceptives, STI testing and treatment, educational expenses, etc. that are supplied by an agency that also peforms abortions which are not funded by the federal government.
2017-MAR-24: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Democrats will work with Republicans on health care, under one condition:
Senator Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, said that his party is willing to work with the Republicans to improve health care, as long as repeal of Obamacare was "off the table."
During an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN on MAR-24, Schumer explained:
"There were two problems -- two reasons this failed. ..."
"[One] is incompetence. I’ve never seen such incompetence. They put together a bill that doesn’t have the support of so many of their own party. Nobody, hardly anyone on the outside ... supported it: AARP [was] against it, AMA against, hospitals against it, nurses against it.
And second, you can’t -- and this is a lesson for them for the future -- you cannot govern from the hard right. The only people who [would have] really benefited were the very very wealthy."
Responding to a statement by President Trump that the Democrats had been uncooperative on health care, Schumer said:
"Well it’s a tall tale, another one by President Trump. They never reached out to us; they never talked to us; they never said how can we work together to make it better. The failure is of course completely among the Republicans, President Trump and the Congress. They weren’t even trying to get Democrats involved.
And now, it’s about time for the president to lead -- not to name call, not to blame, but to lead. To simply say people are going to suffer and someone’s to blame, that makes no sense at all. If you’re a real president, you care about people’s suffering and we’re ready to work with the president.
Take repeal off the table. Let him and Speaker Ryan, Mitch McConnell say 'we’re not repealing' and we’ll work with them on improving Obamacare. But in the meantime for the president to do things to make Obamacare worse and have millions people suffer, to make sure it doesn’t work when CBO says it does work -- that’s not being president." 6
This topic continues with Part 6, the bill's autopsy, at the next page
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Doug G. Ware, et al., "Trump content to 'let Obamacare explode' after AHCA rejected in House," UPI, 2017-MAR-24, at: http://www.upi.com/
- D'Angelo Gore, "Planned Parenthood’s Services," Fact Check, 2015-SEP-04, at: http://www.factcheck.org/
- Debra Goldschmidt & Ashley Strickland,"Planned Parenthood: Fast facts and revealing numbers." CNN, 2017-JAN-17, at: http://www.cnn.com/
- "Induced Abortion in the United States," Guttmacher Institute, 2017-JAN, at: https://www.guttmacher.org/
- Rebecca Downs, "Speaker Paul Ryan: Health centers, not Planned Parenthood, should get taxpayer funding," Live Action News, 2017-JAN-13, at: http://liveactionnews.org/
- Carlos Garcia, "Chuck Schumer says Democrats will work with Trump on health care – on one condition," The Blaze, 2017-MAR-24, at: http://www.theblaze.com/
Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-MAR-26
Author: B.A. Robinson