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Religious Tolerance logo

2017: The final? attempts to
resurrect Ryancare/Trumpcare:

Part 8

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This topic is continued below from Part 7 at the previous page

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2017-APR-02: A last-ditch effort to salvage Ryancare also fails:

A joint effort of White House officials and the House Freedom Caucus attempted to create a new version of Ryancare, informally known as "Zombie Trumpcare."

Jennifer Steinhauer & Robert Pear, writing for the New York Times, said:

"The proposals never made it into a bill, and members never gave the ideas a full unadulterated blessing. The entire exercise appeared to melt in the midday sun on Wednesday, as members prepared for their two-week recess, set to begin Thursday afternoon. ... the entire effort never really had the scent of veracity. Any effort to appeal to the hard-right members of the House Freedom Caucus was always going to repel Republicans in swing districts, especially those won in November by Hillary Clinton [in her presidential bid]." 4

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2017-APR-25: A final? last-ditch effort to resurrect Ryancare also fails:

The House Republicans regrouped to create still another version of Trumpcare. Casey Quinlan, writing for Think Progress said that it would have gotten:

"... rid of some of Obamacare’s most popular provisions and would make it even more difficult for the sickest and poorest Americans to pay their medical bills. 6

Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) announced a new amendment on ... [APR-25] that would gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions."

It would have allowed individual states to sell plans without some of Obamacare's health benefits and charge people with pre-existing conditions much higher premiums.

Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst on health care reform for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities wrote:

"The changes to the bill that are being circulated would let states define essential health benefits and gives them pretty broad flexibility to decide what benefits have to be included in policies, what benefits can be left out of people’s plans in the individual and small group markets and also the details of how those benefits are covered, and which prescription drugs are in there." 6

The Center for American Progress found that with the latest version of Trump/Ryancare, insurers could increase premiums by:

  • $17,320 for pregnant individuals.

  • $142,650 for those with metastatic cancer.

Casey Quinlan commented:

"States [would] have the ability to participate in health status underwriting if they receive a waiver. The practice of underwriting, by its very nature, limits access to health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, even though the amendment’s text claims it will not. People who don’t have pre-existing conditions at first, but develop them later, would also be hurt by the practice." 6

Lueck wrote:

"Overall, what would happen under this legislation is you’re getting rid of the individual mandate, decimating the markets, and then using ... [a] stabilization fund to dig yourself out of that hole, but it doesn’t really get you very far. ... The mandate and subsidies are important to having a stable individual market, so if you roll those back or weaken those, you have to do these terrible things like not give people benefits they’re currently getting or charging sick people hundreds or thousands of dollars more. The [proposed] stability fund is supposed to put money back in to help the market out, but it is really to fix problems the bill itself created." 6

The House Freedom Caucus of conservative Republican representatives endorsed the new proposal. They issued a press release saying:

"Over the past couple of months, House conservatives have worked tirelessly to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to make it better for the American people. Due to improvements to the AHCA and the addition of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s proposed amendment, the House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the current proposal.

The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original AHCA.  While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare."

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2017-APR-27: The latest version of the AHCA may have died without a vote in the House:

Thomas Kaplan & Robert Pear, writing for the New York Times, said:

"An 11th-hour White House push to give President Trump a major legislative victory in his first 100 days in office broke down late Thursday as House Republican leaders failed to round up enough votes for their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Some White House officials had hoped for a vote on Friday on a measure to prove that Mr. Trump was making good on his promise to undo the sweeping health law -- President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement ... [during] his first 100 days in office.

The latest changes to the proposed bill gained the support of the Freedom Caucus. However, more moderate Republicans seem to have withdrawn support, probably because they fear a backlash from voters.

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House Democratic leader, said that President Trump was:

"... really making fools of the members of Congress of his own party"

by asking them to support a health bill that has such little support among the public. 8

Among the groups opposing the latest version are the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Dr. James L. Madara, chief executive of the AMA, stated:

"Although the MacArthur amendment states that the ban on pre-existing conditions remains intact, this assurance may be illusory, as status underwriting could effectively make coverage completely unaffordable to people with pre-existing conditions."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-FL) said:

"The proposed changes to this bill would leave too many of my constituents with pre-existing conditions paying more for health insurance coverage, and too many of them will even be left without any coverage at all."

The Senate minority leader, Church Schumer (D-NY) warned Republican representatives to not vote for the bill in order:

"... to save face for the president in the first 100 days. ... Why would you risk voting yes for a bill that is devastating to your constituents and has no chance of becoming law?" 8

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Tessa Berenson, "Reminder: The House Voted to Repeal Obamacare More Than 50 Times," Time Magazine," 2017-MAR-24, at:
  2. Byron York, "No, House Republicans haven't voted 50 times to repeal Obamacare," Washington Examiner, 2014-MAR-15, at:
  3. Chris Enloe, "Report: Steve Bannon told conservatives they had ‘no choice’ during health care bill debate," The Blaze, 2016-MAR-26, at:
  4. Jennifer Steinhauer & Robert Pear, "As Latest Health Plan Dies, Republicans Can’t Agree on a Culprit," New York Times, 2017-APR-05, at:
  5. Chris Enloe, "Trump lashes out at House Freedom Caucus for ‘saving’ Planned Parenthood, Obamacare," The Blaze, 2017-MAR-26, at:
  6. Casey Quinlan, "Trumpcare just became even more cruel," Think Progress, 2017-APR-26, at:
  7. "House Freedom Caucus Announces Support for House AHCA Bill with MacArthur Amendment," Mark Meadows' web site, 2017-APR-26, at:
  8. Thomas Kaplan & Robert Pear, "Health Law Repeal Will Miss Trump’s 100-Day Target Date," New York Times, 2017-APR-27, at:

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-APR-07
Latest update: 2017-APR-07
Author: B.A. Robinson
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