Why the Efforts to Repeal and Replace Obamacare Failed

by | Published on Jul 21, 2017 | Healthcare News

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As an experienced medical billing company focused on helping physicians to maximize patient insurance reimbursements as they strive to provide quality care, we closely track developments in the health insurance scenario. Roughly 20 million people got coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the Republicans want to oust and rewrite the ACA.

Last week, we reported on how the Senate health care bill would change coverage if passed. Today, we all know that the efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare failed. The GOP health care bill collapsed in the Senate last Monday.

The American Healthcare Act or Trumpcare was on shaky ground ever since it was conceived. In March this year, the proposed health care bill suffered a blow when it had to be pulled from the House floor when the Republicans realized that they would not be able to get enough votes to pass it.

In June, the Senate came out with the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, with certain changes being made on the former version. However, even this failed to get the approval of some Republican leaders – four, to be precise – who said that the “improved” version did not deliver on its promise of bettering Obamacare.

It was to this end that a revised version of the health care bill was introduced in the Senate on July 17. It collapsed mainly due to the deep divisions between conservative and moderate Republicans about its potential to improve coverage for Americans. Conservatives wanted the Affordable Care Act eradicated, but were unhappy that the Senate health care bill did not address the regulatory structure and taxes from Obamacare. Four Republican senators refused to support the bill, opposing the cuts to Medicaid and the effects that this would have on the most vulnerable people. They were also jittery about the projections of large coverage losses.

Here are some of the individual objections raised against the bill:

NYC Times reports that Senator Mike Lee who opposed the Republican bill said that it did not repeal all of the Obamacare taxes, did not go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families, and did not free consumers from the most costly Obamacare regulations.

Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas announced his opposition to the bill, saying that failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs.

Republican governors from states that had expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act also opposed the bill. In Ohio, more than 700,000 low-income people have gained coverage through the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Republicans are not giving up. According to a CNBC report, they introduced yet another amendment to their bill last Thursday that will allow insurers to sell much less comprehensive, less expensive, individual health plans. However, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis estimated that the new version of the bill would lead to loss of coverage for 22 million more Americans by 2026, than if Obamacare was retained in its current form. The CBO report says that a full repeal of Obamacare would lead to 32 million more uninsured Americans.

As the Senate thrashes out reforms in health care law, physicians need to brace themselves for the effects that the changes that it can have on their patients and on practice management. Medical billing companies will support health care providers in their efforts to ensure quality care while preserving their bottom line.

Natalie Tornese

Holding a CPC certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), Natalie is a seasoned professional actively managing medical billing, medical coding, verification, and authorization services at OSI.

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