Republicans are moving forward with their health-care talks due to the help of Vice President Pence who attended a meeting late on Monday with the conservative Freedom House Caucus.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters directly after the meeting that they may have finally found compromise after the White House proposed a “solid idea” which would allow states to opt out of carrying health insurance mandates required under Obamacare. This includes allowing states not to provide essential benefits like coverage for mental health care, substance abuse treatment, maternity care, prescription drug coverage, and more.
What else was on the chopping block? A provision that barred insurers from charging sick people more than healthy individuals. That would be done away with.
Currently, insurers can only discriminate against policyholders in a very limited number of ways, such as age, geographical location, and tobacco use – that’s it. If the provision is done away with, insurers will make health premiums for sick people sky rocket.
It’s a horrible idea, though. And – here’s why.
House Republicans say this will make it more likely that healthy people will buy insurance, thereby lowering their premiums – and increasing the amount of people who are insured. That’s their way of solving that problem, but they fail to mention that those same healthy people would also face higher premiums if they actually used their insurance, which totally defeats the purpose of having insurance in the first place. It’s just common sense. But, this is the only Republican idea to drive down costs in some way.
While the healthcare bill won’t be voted on anytime soon in the next several weeks due to Congress taking a few weeks off, Press Secretary Sean Spicer reiterated that things are progressing with the talks.
“We continue to feel optimistic in the sense that there’s a lot of constructive ideas that are coming to the table to get us to a way forward,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday, adding that Trump “has made clear that he intends to work with anyone who wants to help him get to the number of votes.”
Trump repeated that claim over the weekend, saying that “talks of repealing and replacing Obamacare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.”
After Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R.-Tenn.) left the meeting he was very encouraged that a deal would happen as long as the administration puts those promises in writing.
“It’s progress, and it’s promising. We’re anxious to see the legislative text.”
Featured Image via Getty Images.