Who Will Pay the Price for the Republican Repeal Push?

Posted on by Karina

This morning, Leader Boehner declared repealing health insurance reform the number one priority for Republicans:

Boehner: Repealing health bill GOP’s ‘number one priority’

Repealing healthcare reform law will be Republicans’ “number one priority,” their House leader said Monday. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that repealing the healthcare legislation passed in Congress last month and signed into law by President Barack Obama would be the GOP’s top priority if it wins back control of Congress this fall.

“They got everything else in the entire bureaucracy that they need to control our health care system is all in place with the signing of this bill,” Boehner said during an interview on WFLA’s Bud Hedinger Show. “That's why repealing this bill has to be our number one priority.”

The health insurance reform legislation Leader Boehner says Republicans want to repeal ensures affordability for the middle class and seniors, accessibility for all Americans, and accountability for the insurance industry. So which of these provisions — available to Americans this year — do Republicans want to repeal?

Do Republicans want to repeal the small business tax credits that will make employee coverage more affordable?

Or the $250 rebate to America's seniors who have fallen into the Medicare Part D ‘donut’ hole pay for prescription drug coverage?

Do Republicans want to repeal the ban on insurance companies dropping people from coverage when they get sick?

Or the prohibition on insurance companies denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions?

Do Republicans want to repeal the ban on insurance companies placing lifetime caps on coverage or the ban on restrictive annual limits on coverage?

Or the new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers have an avenue to appeal decisions by their health insurance plan?

Do Republicans want to repeal the temporary high-risk pool that will provide immediate access to Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition?

Or do they want to repeal the requirement that health plans allow young people to remain on their parents' health insurance plan up to their 26th birthday?

In addition, the health insurance reform legislation signed into law improves Medicare benefits with lower prescription drug costs for those in the ‘donut hole,’ better chronic care, free preventive care, and nearly a decade more of solvency for Medicare. We already know Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, introduced an alternative budget proposal that would eliminate Medicare and privatize Social Security for older Americans — so which of these provisions in the health reform bill for seniors do Republicans want to repeal?

Do Republicans want to repeal better primary care to ensure seniors have access to and can spend more time with their primary care doctor, and making sure care is better coordinated for recommended treatments, particularly for chronic diseases? Right now, about 12 million seniors lack access to a primary care doctor in their community.

Or closing the ‘donut hole’ for prescription drug coverage, starting with a $250 rebate for those in the donut hole in 2010–and phasing out the donut hole completely over time?

Do Republicans want to repeal lower overall prescription drug costs for seniors (according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office)? Right now, evidence suggests the “donut hole” coverage gap reduces seniors' use of drugs prescribed by their doctor by an average of 14%, posing a real health threat to seniors who simply cannot afford the drugs.

Or repeal free preventative care? Seniors will pay nothing on recommended preventive services that will keep them healthier longer, including a free annual wellness visit. Right now, one in five women age 50 or over did not have a mammogram in the last two years, and 38% of adults age 50 or over have never had a colonoscopy — with costs often a factor.

Do Republicans want to repeal extending the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by at least nine years, to help ensure Medicare can cover every American as they get older?

Or repeal tighter oversight and cracking down on waste, fraud, abuse, and overpayments to enrich private companies so Medicare dollars are focused on care and benefits? In the last year alone, improper Medicare payments that were discovered and stopped totaled more than $450 million.

Lastly, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the reform legislation signed into law reduces the deficit by $143 billion over the next ten years, and by $1.2 trillion more over the following decade. Do Republicans want to repeal the legislation and stop $1,300,000,000 in deficit reduction? If history is prologue, the answer is yes:

Graph of deficit/surplus impact of legislation

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