Tags: Newt Gingrich | newt | gop | lawmakers | cautious | obamacare | mandate

Newt to GOP Lawmakers: Repeal Obamacare Mandate, But Be Cautious

Image: Newt to GOP Lawmakers: Repeal Obamacare Mandate, But Be Cautious
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By    |   Monday, 18 December 2017 08:03 AM

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said repealing Obamacare's individual mandate in the tax bill is a good step, but lawmakers must proceed with caution.

Gingrich's comments came in a column for The Hill.

"As President (Donald) Trump and congressional Republicans move toward passing a critical tax cut and reform package to boost the economy, they also have the opportunity to start repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act," he said.

"Repealing the individual mandate in the tax bill is a good first step toward a better market for health insurance that would give Americans what they really need — the freedom to buy the insurance they want to serve their own needs and not those of the federal government."

But he added: "In doing so, however, Republicans must proceed with caution. They must not shrug off the issue of market instability. Their goal should be giving Americans more healthcare choices and lowering premiums, not cratering the system."

Gingrich maintained lawmakers must "put in place stabilizing measures to avoid increased premiums and the loss of coverage for millions of Americans." He said repealing the individual mandate without stabilizing measures would just further increase premiums.

And he said Congress must provide states with funding to set up high-risk pool programs to aid in the payment for those suffering serious medical conditions.

"That's the only way to prevent drastically higher premiums and more uninsured Americans," he said. "Already, middle-class families who are not eligible for tax credits are being hit hard by the costs of Obamacare's government-mandated benefits — and its convoluted structure."

Gingrich noted the solution is simple.

"Republicans already are on record as supporting funding for high-risk individuals," he said. "House Republicans voted for this funding in the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed earlier this year.

"They should combine this idea with the best elements of what the Senate is offering and include this solution in the upcoming Dec. 22 budget package.

"The AHCA established a separate Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program to help with high-cost medical claims, allocating $15 billion for the program each year for the first two years, followed by block grant funding to states. It offered states the flexibility to develop their own high-risk pool, defaulting to a federal program only if state action isn't possible.

"In the Senate, the Alexander-Murray plan gives states more flexibility to waive federal requirements and allows Congress to fund the cost-sharing reductions for lower-income families, which President [Barack] Obama was illegally paying for through executive action."

He said Trump and congressional Republicans could take the necessary steps by the end of the year.

"Combined with job creation and increased take-home pay from the tax cut, this would give Republicans an impressive record of accomplishment to run on in the midterms," he said.

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said repealing Obamacare's individual mandate in the tax bill is a good step, but lawmakers must proceed with caution.
newt, gop, lawmakers, cautious, obamacare, mandate
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2017-03-18
Monday, 18 December 2017 08:03 AM
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