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    Obamacare Tag

    Perhaps the two aspects of Donald Trump's presidency that I admire the most are is ability to go around supposedly immovable blocks to his proposals and the way he stiffens the spines of his fellow Republicans. After the humiliating Obamacare repeal failure of 2017, many weaker men would have moved on to other matters. However, as Trump continues to take a giant eraser to Obama's legacy, he has obviously moved Congress to take a more piecemeal approach to ending the onerous health insurance regulations promulgated under his predecessor.

    The drama is almost over as the Republicans have unveiled their tax bill. They are also closer to victory since Sen. Bob Corker (TN) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have decided to back the bill, leaving the Senate with only two undecided Republicans. From The New York Times:
    On Friday, as Republicans released details about the final bill, it became clear that the agreement would provide deep and longstanding tax cuts for businesses, while providingslightly more generous tax breaks to low- and middle-income Americans byreducing some benefits for higher earners.

    In August, Iowa officials submitted a request to make changes to its Obamacare market as it faced doom due to high premiums and insurance companies dropping out. Officials wanted to make changes that would "provide consumers with age- and income-based tax credits as well as using a reinsurance mechanism for insurers for costly medical claims. Now Governor Kim Reynolds (R) and Iowa Insurance Division Commissioner Doug Ommen have announced that the state withdrew its request since it "cannot be approved under terms that would be workable for Iowa."

    Thursday, Trump issued an Executive Order directing federal agencies to draft new regulations allowing employers to form insurance offerings across state lines. Many contend opening up the marketplace will allow more employer flexibility, greater choice, and as a result, lower premiums. Before the ink had dried, a leaked report indicated Trump's plans to throw another blow at Obamacare, this time, by way of subsidy.

    President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to start loosening some rules associated with Obamacare after the Republican controlled Congress failed many times to repeal the healthcare law. From Fox News:
    According to officials, Trump will direct the secretary of labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans, which could allow employers to form groups across state lines offering coverage. According to the White House, these plans could offer lower rates.

    President Donald Trump's administration has decided to roll back a portion of Obamacare that mandates a private company must include birth control coverage in health insurance plans. From The Washington Examiner:
    The new rules allow any employer to be exempt from the mandate "based on its sincerely held religious beliefs" or on "moral convictions." Employers who decide not to provide coverage do not need to inform the federal government but would need to tell their employees about their decision.

    The Democrats have decided to use the GOP's attempts to repeal Obamacare to their advantage in 2018. From The Hill:
    “I think the message is really simple here: As long as Republicans control Congress, your health care is on the chopping block,” said Tyler Law, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), House Democrats’ campaign arm.
    One problem: The GOP has shown that despite having control of Congress, they have not been able to repeal Obamacare.

    Sens. Billy Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hope to pass their Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill by the end of the month, but have encountered opposition from a few in their own party. Sens. John McCain (AZ) and Rand Paul (KY) have already said no while Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) remain on the fence. Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has said "that he's not yet on board with the legislation." This has led to a few changes to the bill, which includes boosts for Arizona, Alaska, Kentucky, and Maine as a way to entice these senators to vote yes.

    Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) officially decided he will vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill, which is the latest attempt the GOP has taken to repeal and replace Obamacare. From CNN:
    "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," the Arizona Republican said in a statement. "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions."
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