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Wed Jun 13, 2018, 01:50 PM

Republicans take coward's way out on health care law

If the GOP really thinks gutting protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is good policy, they should pass a damn law.

I dare them to try.

For eight years, on and off, they did. And they failed. The House passed literally dozens of repeal bills, none of which had the chance of becoming law while Barack Obama was still president.

Then Donald Trump won the White House. Republicans had unified control of government — and they chickened out.

Why? Because they feared the blowback from voters, who had finally learned a little bit about what the Affordable Care Act actually does. While the overall Obamacare brand itself was lousy, it turned out almost all of Obamacare’s major provisions were quite popular.

According to polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, majorities of Americans in both parties liked the Medicaid expansion. They liked subsidies for lower- and moderate-income Americans buying individual insurance. They liked the elimination of out-of-pocket costs for preventive services. They liked having the federal government require insurers to cover a minimum set of benefits.

And you know what else Americans really, really liked? The bill’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Americans are highly motivated to support this particular provision: Most have pre-existing conditions themselves, or live in a household with someone who does. Which means they or someone they’re close to could pay much higher premiums, or even lose coverage altogether.


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