Health Care Overhaul

When Donald Trump was running for president, he often promised to bring big change to Washington, almost overnight.

"When we win on Nov. 8," he told supporters in Pennsylvania, a week before Election Day, "we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare."

A year later, that turned out to be more complicated than Trump expected.

Change in Washington often comes slowly. Just ask former President Barack Obama.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

A bipartisan coalition of 24 senators — 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats — has signed on to health care legislation to prop up the individual insurance market and keep premiums down. With the expected support of all Senate Democrats, it could have the votes to pass the chamber. But questions remain over when it might actually get a vote, as well as whether President Trump and House Republicans would bring the bill over the finish line.

It was the Friday before a Monday deadline, and federal health officials in Washington, D.C., were working feverishly with their counterparts in Oklahoma to finalize the details of a new state reinsurance program.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Less than a week after President Trump said he is cutting off subsidies to health insurance companies, lawmakers announced Tuesday that they had a deal to restore the money and take other actions that could stabilize insurance markets for next year.

President Trump has recently taken a series of what appear to be bold executive actions to reverse Obama-era policies: declining to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal, halting subsidy payments to insurance companies and setting an expiration date for the DACA immigration program. But, in so doing, he's dumping thorny problems on a GOP-controlled Congress already struggling to rack up significant legislative accomplishments.

The reaction has been swift since President Trump announced late Thursday that he was cutting off Affordable Care Act subsidies to insurance companies.

The White House argues that the payments are illegal.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” Delta Airlines CEO Edward Bastain is bristling at a few Trump administration policies that he says will hurt the company. It’s the first time the company has expressed deep concern with the president. Our panel talks about the friction.

Then: negotiations on a new NAFTA agreement break down, Georgia farmers could pay a steep price for failure to strike a deal. How much will tariffs hurt agriculture exports, especially in the North Georgia poultry industry?

Updated at 11:29 a.m. ET

President Trump's decision Thursday to end subsidy payments to health insurance companies is expected to raise premiums for middle-class families and cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The Trump administration said Thursday that it would end the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments designed to help low-income Americans get health care. Not paying the subsidies, health care experts have warned, could send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.

President Trump is poised to sign an executive order that he says will make it easier for people to join together as a group and buy health insurance from any state.

The president tweeted about his plans on Tuesday morning.

"Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people — FAST," he wrote.

Martin Falbisoner / CC

Today on “Political Rewind,” in the same week that yet another Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare goes down in defeat, Congress faces crucial deadlines for existing programs that have a big impact on health care in Georgia. Charity hospitals could lose millions of dollars in federal financial aid. Federal funds to help pay for medical expenses for children from low-income families also face elimination. Will Congress act to save these programs?

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana defended their namesake health care bill Monday even as the measure ran into potentially fatal opposition from a third Senate colleague.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, came out against the bill, joining fellow Republicans Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona. That leaves the GOP majority at least one vote short of the 50 votes needed to pass the bill over unified Democratic opposition.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain may, once again, be the savior of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The Arizona Republican announced in a statement on Friday that he opposes the latest GOP legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans' complex health care calculations are coming down to simple math.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans to vote for a bill that aims to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and drastically reshape the Medicaid system. McConnell's office is planning to bring the bill up for a vote next week.

There's a chance Republicans wouldn't be so close to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act if former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania hadn't dropped into the Capitol barbershop this spring.

"I was up on the Hill, I happened to just go by the barbershop to see if I could get a haircut, and Lindsey was in the chair," Santorum said. "And Lindsey asked me what I was doing, and I thought to myself, 'Well, let me just bounce it off Lindsey.' "

Alex Brandon / AP Photo/File

Today on “Political Rewind,” health care is back in the political headlines. Insurance companies are warning that rates are about to skyrocket – in part because of the uncertainty about how the Trump administration intends to support Obamacare. Tom Price is making dramatic cuts in money to help educate consumers on buying insurance from the exchanges, which critics say suppress registrations for insurance.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill there’s a new GOP push to repeal and replace the ACA. Will it go anywhere?

Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance doesn't start for another six weeks. But the quirky insurance startup Oscar Health is launching an ad campaign Monday aimed at getting young people to enroll.

The company is boosting its ad spending after the Trump administration announced it would slash its ACA advertising budget by 90 percent.

With Republican efforts to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to stabilize the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans.

Updated 10 a.m. ET

Escalating tension between Capitol Hill and the White House is threatening the GOP's legislative agenda and testing the bonds of party unity under the Trump administration.

In the wake of congressional Republicans' failure to pass a health care bill, two governors from different parties are going to bring their own ideas to Washington.

The White House says the fight over health care is not over, but on Capitol Hill, Republicans are ready to move on.

"The president isn't giving up on health care and neither should the Senate," Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney declared on CNN on Wednesday.

On the Senate floor that same morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, was already focused elsewhere.

Senate Republicans don't appear to be too worried about President Trump's latest round of threats.

Updated 4:21 p.m. ET Aug. 1

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced today that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee will hold bipartisan hearings on ways to stabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for 2018.

The hearings will start the week of Sept. 4. Their aim is to act by Sept. 27, when insurers must sign contracts to sell individual insurance plans on HealthCare.gov for 2018.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare collapses in the wee hours, after Sen. John McCain delivers the coup de grace and votes NO. Was it payback for that campaign crack when Trump dissed McCain for having been captured during the Vietnam War? What does this legislative loss bode for Senate Leader Mitch McConnell? And is there a prayer that a return to bipartisanship may be borne of this event?

In a moment of unexpected high drama, Republicans were stymied once again in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and they have John McCain to thank for it.

In the early morning hours Friday, the senator showed why he earned the nickname "Maverick" over his long tenure.

Betting that thin is in — and might be the only way forward — Senate Republicans are eyeing a "skinny repeal" that would roll back an unpopular portion of the federal health law. But health policy analysts warn that the idea has been tried before, and with little success.

Senate Republicans have at least narrowed the options on what comes next for the Affordable Care Act — casting two separate votes since Tuesday that knocked out a "repeal-only" proposal and rejected a plan for replacement.

So, as lawmakers resume debate on Thursday, they will be staring at basically one possibility: a so-called "skinny repeal" that would surgically remove some key provisions from Obamacare, while leaving the rest intact — at least for now.

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain, diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer just five days ago, returned to applause on the Senate floor Tuesday, where he cast a crucial vote to move forward on repeal of the Affordable Care Act and urged his colleagues to regain their sense of bipartisan cooperation.

However, the longtime Arizona senator, two-time presidential candidate and perhaps America's most famous former prisoner of war, warned that he "will not vote for this bill as it is today," describing it as "a shell."

The Senate Health Care Vote, Simplified

Jul 24, 2017

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to advance health care legislation to the Senate floor. That would open up debate on an Obamacare repeal and/or replacement plan.

The importance of the vote was highlighted by Sen. John McCain's decision to return to Washington to take part. He announced last week that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Pages