President Donald Trump made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a key part of his presidential campaign, and he had hoped to have a solid plan that works for everyone implemented by now.
Unfortunately for the President – and the general electorate – gridlock and special interests in Congress continue to hamper the efforts to introduce a new bill.
As American voters continue to deal with the economic realities forced on them by Obamacare, Republicans are hoping to open more states eyes by leaning on their collective thirst for funds.
Republican leaders continue to try to get everyone on the same page, and they’re willing to dangle a carrot in front of a number of states to get them on board. Politico has the scoop:
Leaders are likely to cook up even more deals to entice uncommitted senators. As conservative health policy expert Chris Jacobs points out at The Federalist, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still has about $200 billion that he can spend on holdouts without breaking Senate budget rules he’s using to try to pass the legislation.
Federal funding has a way of putting a little pep into the step of uncommitted holdouts, so it’ll be interesting to sit back and see how this plays out. Among the states that could stand to benefit from the Republicans enhanced efforts is Alaska, and we’re not talking about a small chunk of change.
With $182 billion designated for stabilization efforts in the revised bill, that translates to at least $1.82 billion for Alaska. While that’s a big pile of cash, Aviva Aron-Dine at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that the state expects to lose $3.1 billion in Medicaid funding between 2020 and 2026 under the Senate bill.
Alaska would also benefit from a provision that would provide a 100 percent federal match for spending on medical assistance by any provider to American Indians enrolled in Medicaid.
In a perfect world, Republicans wouldn’t need to dangle funds around in order to get everyone to hop on board.
Reality tells us a different story, as elected officials will typically toe the party line when not out on the campaign trail trying to drum up votes and cash.
Some may disagree with calling this corruption, but this is exactly the kind of political buyoffs that Trump ran against when he promised to drain the swamp.
This Obamacare repeal and replace is starting to look a lot like 2009’s Democrat Obamacare bill, with bills too long and complicated to read, billions in payoffs to get senators on board, and plunging confidence from the American people.
Their plan is better than Obamacare, but they need to start working together without millions and billions exchanging hands.
Republicans are pulling out all the stops to get more states on board, so maybe there will finally be some movement towards moving the repeal and replacement of Obamacare into the completed tasks box of the Trump administration.