Republicans scheme to do even more harm to health care policies

Congresswoman Mimi Walters

A new report shows Republicans are trying — again — to repeal the popular Affordable Care Act. This follows premium hikes in California and around the country prompted by GOP policies.

Republican health care policies over the past year and a half have caused four million people to lose health insurance and premiums to skyrocket. But those changes don’t go far enough according to some conservatives.

According to the Washington Post, a new effort is underway to get Congress to repeal the popular Affordable Care Act, which could cause even more harm to Americans.

“Some conservative activists unable to surrender their long-held dream of repealing Obamacare are poised to release a long-shot plan next month to resurrect their failed effort, despite massive political odds against such a measure ever becoming law anytime soon,” reports the Post.

The last time Republicans sought to repeal the ACA, the consequences would have been devastating. The bill, supported by Reps. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), and every other California Republican, would have caused 23 million people to lose their health insurance, and premiums to spike by 20 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Further, the bill would have wreaked havoc for older Americans. “The AHCA would impose an unfair and unacceptable ‘age tax,'” according to the AARP. “It would allow insurance companies to charge people between the ages of 50 and 64 (those too young for Medicare) five times what they can charge younger consumers. (Insurers are currently allowed to charge older consumers three times as much.)”

But Republicans ultimately failed in their effort to repeal the ACA. And some conservatives worry that the impotence of Republicans to follow-through on their long-promised repeal is could hurt Republicans in 2018. “The left is sort of extraordinarily motivated, and the Republican base is demoralized,” says Dan Holler of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The changes Republicans made to health care policy, tucked into the unpopular tax bill, are responsible for most of the premium increases coming to California in 2019. And that’s a problem for lawmakers like Knight and Walters, who aggressively supported the tax bill with these changes.

Even Holler admits these Republicans have “no compelling answer” to charges saying they’re to blame for premium increases in the marketplaces.

Covered California recently proposed an 11 percent premium hike, and admitted that more than half of the increase was because of changes brought about by Knight, Walters, and Congressional Republicans.

For California Republicans, another vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act looks to be immensely unpopular. As SoCal Daily recently reported, a new poll shows voters are significantly less likely to support a member of Congress who voted to end the Affordable Care Act.

Californians are already seeing the harm of Republican health care policies. The last thing voters want, according to polls, is even more sabotage.