Diary

Republicans Can Start Winning on Obamacare This Week

After a year of losing on Obamacare repeal, Republicans in Congress are taking important steps this week to knock the foundations out from under former President Barack Obama’s failed experiment in health care.

On the House floor this week, Congress can eliminate the so-called “Independent Payment Advisory Board” (IPAB). Conjured up by Obamacare, IPAB would effectively ration health care for America’s seniors.

If IPAB ever came into being, it would take health care decisions away from individuals and families, and give that authority to the federal government. People and their doctors wouldn’t be the ones making decisions about their health care, IPAB would transfer that power to anonymous bureaucrats on a board inside the Beltway.

Obamacare has proven to be a failure. IPAB would be a failure of epic proportions that would not improve care, nor contain costs. It would only serve to further confirm that Obamacare is the giant miserable experiment that seems to get worse every day. Congress can and should take a major step toward killing it this week.

That could be the first win this week.

Congress can also reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) this week, fully offsetting costs of the program by rolling back more Obamacare provisions.

The CHIP bill under consideration will enroll kids in a state-based CHIP program and keeping them out of the self-destructing Obamacare exchanges and Medicaid.

It will require health insurance companies to pay claims when they cover Medicaid enrollees, saving $4 billion and protecting the taxpayer.

It saves $5 billion by discouraging freeloaders on Obamacare who game the system to get healthcare coverage while skipping their payments for three months.

CHIP defunds the Obamacare Prevention and Public Health fund and gives $6 billion to community health centers.

Passing CHIP could be the second win this week.

Democrats who spent the last few months bludgeoning Republicans over not extending CHIP and gloating over failed attempts to repeal Obamacare are now practically seething over the prospect of Republican successes on passing CHIP and repealing provisions of Obamacare.

Andy Slavitt, Obama’s former acting director of Medicaid and Medicare, is demagoguing the issue and claiming that Republicans are holding kids’ health hostage and the bill won’t pass. Nancy Pelosi is calling on Democrats to oppose the bipartisan IPAB repeal bill.

Congressional Republicans should prove them both wrong by banding together and passing both bills.

After a year of losing in their efforts to dismantle Obamacare, Republicans can start winning by voting to reauthorize CHIP and kill IPAB. And who knows? They might start winning so much that they get tired of winning and they’ll say please, please, it’s too much winning and we can’t take it anymore.