Gaetz: Obamacare repeal begins today

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL1) said on “Pensacola Speaks” yesterday that the repeal of Obamacare will begin today.

The House of Representatives will pass the Senate budget that will set up the reconciliation process between the two chambers. Gaetz explained that, under reconciliation, bills are protected from the 60-vote filibuster.

“We will gut Obamacare,” said Gaetz.

This was the same strategy used seven years ago to pass the Affordable Care Act and avoid a GOP filibuster.

The actual full repeal of the law will take 18 to 36 months.

“We’re not pushing granny off the cliff or denying anyone coverage or any of the horrors stories the Democrats have been saying,” said Gaetz.

After Obamacare is repealed, Congress will focus on regulations, such as allowing insurance companies to cross state lines.

What will replace Obamacare? Gaetz would like to see Medicaid block grants given to the states and let them decide what’s best for their citizens. He believes that will lead to more innovation and sounder solutions.

The Department of Health and Human Services sent out this press release yesterday:

Last week, HHS released its latest enrollment figures showing that 1,641,714 people are signed up for 2017 Marketplace coverage in Florida, more than at the same time last year.

Today, HHS released a new report with detailed demographic, financial, and geographic data on Florida consumers signed up for coverage as of December 24, 2016. The new report also finds that more than 11.5 million people nationwide were signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage as of December 24, an increase of 286,000 plan selections relative to the comparable period last year.

Today’s report shows that a broad cross-section of Floridians rely on the Marketplace to access affordable, quality coverage. Florida Marketplace consumers signed up through December 24 include:

  • 891,939 female and 742,675 male Floridians
  • 111,322 children, 431,771 adults age 18-34, 652,605 adults age 35-54, and 438,916 older Floridians
  • 60,002 Asians, 117,185 African-Americans, 308,767 Latinos, and 439,641 Caucasians
  • 44,553 rural Floridians
  • 416,327 new and 1,218,287 returning consumers

“With more than 11.5 million people signed up nationwide, demand for health coverage is higher than ever, and Floridians are proving once again that Marketplace coverage is vital to them and their families,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

“For Floridians who have not yet signed up, it’s not too late. Open enrollment continues through January 31st, but you should visit by this Sunday to ensure your coverage starts February 1st. Most consumers can find a plan for less than $75 per month in premiums, and millions are finding plans that meet their and their families’ needs.”

Today’s report underscores the importance of financial assistance for Florida consumers. 89 percent of Floridians signed up for Marketplace coverage through December 24 will receive advanced premium tax credits that lower their premiums by an average of $323 per month. On an annual basis, that works out to tax credits of $3,870 per year for up to 1,450,699 Floridians.

Today’s report also shows that Florida Marketplace consumers are actively engaged with their coverage. 892,973 Florida consumers, 73 percent of all returning consumers in Florida through December 24, came back to the Marketplace and actively selected a plan for 2017.



12 thoughts on “Gaetz: Obamacare repeal begins today

  1. Matt Gaetz, can you give us just a teensy clue about what you plan to replace the ACA with? I’m tickled that the Republicans want to cherry pick the existing law — no denial for pre-existing conditions, kids stay on plan until 26 — while giving wealthy people a big tax cut by doing away with funding and the mandate. I am really interested in seeing how they with repeal without a plan to repeal.

  2. George, I’m not of the opinion Obama is solely to blame. However, the power to correct some of those inefficiencies were primarily regulatory. He could have continued his pursuit of health care cost reduction by reforming the FDA protections that allow prescription drug manufacturers to game the legal loopholes that delay entry of lower-cost drugs. He could have also changed regulatory requirements for transparency of the cost of medical services. It’s been 8 years since the law passed and people still aren’t given a disclosure of the minimum cost for the services they’re receiving. They find out when they get a dozens of bills from people they were unaware were involved in their healthcare. They get double-billed and over-charged. Consumer Protection Agencies have the power to end that, they just never received a directive. All of the powers to change the inefficiencies are already there.

    I hope, like you, the replacement is created with an opportunity for all individuals to fund their health care services in a manner commensurate with their budget. I believe the focus needs to shifted away from the funding mechanism, however, to the health care providers, the prescription industry and to the individuals to take more responsibility for a healthier life.

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how everyone has issues with healthcare costs and “Obama” is dealing with increasing prescription costs and the “cost of care” and the POTUS is the reason. However, NO ONE ever considers that POTOUS is the “execuutive branch” and the “legislative branch” is the problem by not passing “legislation” to curb runaway costs and prescription drug companies raping the public with pricing. Congress HASN’T done it because they have been “lobbied” NOT to pass the legislation needed to curb the rising costs of healthcare and drugs. Congress complains when He used executive orders and cry when He doesn’t. Where BOTH parties (DEM and GOP) have been selling American ‘s health for the benefit of corporate profits.

  4. I never agreed with much that Jeff Miller did, but I was always grateful that he didn’t embarrass our district with the histrionics of the radical Republicans. But just a week into his tenure Gaetz, all politics aside, with his”gutting” of Obamacare shows his immaturity and lack of class.

  5. I sure hope no one repeals car insurance or homeowner’s insurance. Then, we won’t have cars or homes, either. And, insurance companies are definitely making money hand over fist right now, increasing their premiums to point people can’t afford their insurance. There’s no way the ACA caused insurance costs to go up. My guess is those insurance companies that stopped selling policies were making so much money, they’re too busy loading the money into their bank accounts they have to take a break from selling for now. Yes, when you don’t know anything about something, anything is possible.

  6. ACA is far from perfect, it was, after all, a Republican designed plan. But instead of working to make improvements, since it’s inception the GOP has done absolutely nothing (other than countless attempts to repeal) to make the system workable for everyone. Worse still, Republicans in congress have blocked any attempt to work on ACA. In terms of its rising costs, we would be better off looking to insurance companies and prescription drug companies and asking them at what point their corporate greed might be satisfied. In what reality is it mandatory that corporations satisfy a minimum 10% growth in profits each and every quarter? And the CEOS of these same companies, doesn’t it seem even a little bit disgusting, even to the most well-heeled, that most make more money in a day than 90% of Americans make in a year? If corporations are not willing to become part of the solution, then yes, repeal ACA and replace it with a Medicare single payer model and see how well that works for corporate greed.

  7. “I don’t think there is a direct correlation between rising premiums and the ACA” I can provide a list of reasons explaining how the ACA had absolutely everything to do with a majority of the premium increases over the past 4 years on individual health insurance plans. Do I need to list those out or is it not going to be considered at all?

    I hope everyone in every spectrum of the economy is considered with the replacement, not only the low-income, but the middle-class Americans, as well. Because, at the moment, they are bearing the brunt of the current law’s cost increases (or lack of reprieve) as they are not eligible for much, if any, subsidies and are limiting their benefits to a level that is below the standards of the pre-ACA health insurance plans.

    But, the other issues have completely ignored by the Obama administration: prescription drug industry protections, health care cost transparency. They have failed to address the two biggest causes of inefficiency and higher costs in the delivery of health care in the U.S. Prescriptions account for 2/3 of the cost of any health care plan. I wonder why that was not addressed?

    Unfortunately, the ACA just turned a blind eye to those issues and, althouth it has created some good short-term successes for those that pre-existing conditions, it did nothing to help provide a long-term solution that places the individual in the driver’s seat as a health care consumer.

  8. There are many tools to measure the success of the ACA. Yes, more people insured is one of those tools as is eradicating the pre-existing clause and life time caps. I am a middle class American and I was able to get a better insurance rate through the marketplace, without the APTC for my daughter, than it would have cost for me to purchase her insurance through my place of employment.

    Mr. Gaetz is acting irresponsibly and is flippant in his comment about not “pushing granny off a cliff”. How nice it must be for he and his elitist cronies, who by the way having outstanding health coverage compliments of the American tax payer, to gloat about taking away health coverage from millions of Americans.

  9. I do understand the issues of rising healthcare premiums and I do agree with you. However, the issue of increasing premium costs can best be attributed to the rising cast of health care providers and drug companies. However, I don’t think there is a direct correlation between rising premiums and the ACA. The most important issue to me is that the low-income people that have received the benefit of coverage will then go back to the medicare/medicaid model of the past. How do you think we should handle this group of people?

  10. It should be called the “Throwing the Baby Out With the Bath Water” bill. When the public realizes their insurance has been taken away and there is no viable replacement they will not be happy. That should make for a very interesting 2018 mid-term election.

  11. George, I think you have to realize your sentiment about a broken system is shared by lot of people who would like the ACA repealed. The measurement of success is not whether more people have health insurance. Or, at least, it should not be. From someone who enrolls people everyday into these plans, my experience is that more people in the history have health insurance that a majority cannot afford. Worse, the people paying unaffordable premiums are paying for plans that have deductible that are 2 – 3 times higher than the plan they had prior to January 1st of 2014 and the plan is tied to a provider network that is 20 – 60% smaller than it was before that point. What you will find is that the only individuals who are happy today with their health insurance are those who are heavily subsidized, with incomes considered in the low- to lower-middle income. This year the middle class has probably just increased their deductible to the highest, allowable amount under the ACA and tied their plan to the smallest, possible provider network. Next year, there will not be anything more they can possibly do to find a way to counter an increase in their non-subsidized health insurance premiums.

    I look forward to seeing what replacement comes and that people begin to realize the only true reform from this point will exist with how providers bill for their services, how much protection the FDA (Washington) extends to prescription drug manufacturers and how Americans choose to transform their lifestyle to increase the likelihood for better health.

  12. “You break it, you own it.” The GOP should get past there “political rhetoric” and come with a viable solution. The FACT is that more people in the HISTORY of the US have health insurance. What are you going to do about the people that will lose such coverage?

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