Health Reform's House Breakout: The GOP Needs to Show the Country — And Trump — It Can Govern
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Against the odds, House Republicans have regained momentum on health-care reform, and they’re nearing a majority coalition. While there may be more swerves before a vote, they ought to appreciate the importance of demonstrating that a center-right Congress—working with President Trump —can govern.
There are still holdouts and others are undecided in the GOP’s moderate and conservative wings, but their differences are narrowing. More members are also recognizing their political mistake in trashing the original ObamaCare repeal and replace bill. The House now has a rare second chance, and a generational opportunity to start to solve some U.S. problems.
On Wednesday Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri worked out the latest compromise, meant to assuage concerns about insurance for pre-existing medical conditions. The amendment would add $8 billion over five years to a 10-year, $130 billion fund to create risk pools to protect people in the individual insurance market who need high-cost treatments.
Pre-existing conditions are an understandable concern, but the critics traffick in demagoguery, not substance. Their opposition has less to do with vulnerable patients than preserving ObamaCare. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed that risk pools are “like administering cough medicine to someone with stage 4 cancer,” which exploits cancer victims and shows he knows nothing about risk pools.
By targeting funds at the sickest patients, states can make insurance markets more affordable and stable. These subsidies siphon off some of the costs that contribute to rising premiums in the overall market, and the idea is that the resulting cheaper plans for everyone else will encourage more people to enroll.