Congress

Constituents to House GOP: “People are angry”

As this morning’s Washington Post sums up, the pressure is mounting for Republicans to come up with a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act before they repeal it. But Republicans remain deeply divided on a path forward. From the Washington Post:

“A new analysis that at least 18 million people could lose health insurance in the first year if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act without replacing it intensified the battle this week over the landmark health-care law as President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans try to figure out how to dismantle it.”

“The report underscored the political peril that Trump faces in trying to meet one of his top campaign promises — and also the discord among Republicans about how to do it.”

“Trump waded into the fray over the weekend when he declared that his own replacement plan is nearly complete — touting the goal of ‘insurance for everybody’ and promising ‘much lower deductibles’ for consumers.”

“That pronouncement appeared to come with little consultation with congressional Republicans, and it conflicted directly with plans laid out by Trump’s advisers, including Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), his nominee for secretary of health and human services.”

“Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) told reporters that it is difficult to commit to providing universal health coverage in any upcoming GOP replacement.”

“Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who leads the committee before which Price will appear Wednesday, said he has not heard any details of Trump’s plan.”

Meanwhile, House Republicans continue to face constituents in their districts who are angry about their plan to repeal the ACA without immediately replacing it. At a community forum yesterday, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) met vocal opposition to Republicans’ plan to repeal the law without a replacement:

Dozens of local residents showed up to voice their frustrations with the way Republicans are attacking the healthcare system that many of them believe has improved and saved lives.”

“Shouts in support of universal healthcare and preserving federal funding for Planned Parenthood garnered applause.”

“When Brady called on Tim Welbes, president of The Woodlands Development Company, to share his thoughts, Welbes read an impassioned letter from a young woman he said was close to him, saying that Planned Parenthood had helped her by detecting cancer early.”

“‘One should not have to choose between a doctor's visit and death,’ Welbes read. ‘Planned Parenthood absolutely saved my life and their affordable cancer screening wouldn't have been available to me when I was uninsured.’”

“‘People are angry,’ said Tomi Phillips, a cancer survivor and resident of The Woodlands. ‘I don't feel like I'm heard by Mr. Brady.’”