Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A party that protects its ignorance: LA Times “GOP shuts out doctors, experts, Democrats — pretty much everybody — as they work on Obamacare repeal”

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The GOP is willfully ignorant, and Noam Levey’s article in the LA Times provides an excellent example.

President Trump and House Republicans, in their rush to resuscitate a bill rolling back the Affordable Care Act, are increasingly isolating themselves from outside input and rejecting entreaties to work collaboratively, according to multiple healthcare officials who have tried to engage GOP leaders.

The White House and its House GOP allies are hoping to reschedule a vote on their overhaul plan in the coming days, following last month’s embarrassing retreat when the bill was pulled shortly before a vote.

But they continue to refuse to reach out to Democrats. Even Senate Republicans have been largely sidelined, though their support will be crucial to putting a measure on Trump’s desk.

And senior House Republicans and White House officials have almost completely shut out doctors, hospitals, patient advocates and others who work in the healthcare system, industry officials say, despite pleas from many healthcare leaders to seek an alternative path that doesn’t threaten protections for tens of millions of Americans.

“To think you are going to revamp the entire American healthcare system without involving any of the people who actually deliver healthcare is insanity,” said Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Assn., whose members include many of the nation’s largest medical systems.

Health insurers, who initially found House Republicans and Trump administration officials open to suggestions for improving insurance markets, say it is increasingly difficult to have realistic discussions, according to numerous industry officials.

“They’re not interested in how health policy actually works,” said one insurance company official, who asked not to be identified discussing conversations with GOP officials. “It’s incredibly frustrating.”

Another longtime healthcare lobbyist, who also did not want to be identified criticizing Republicans, said he’d never seen legislation developed with such disregard for expert input. “It is totally divorced from reality,” he said.

The result may be a short-term victory for House leaders and the White House as Trump nears his 100-day mark, assuming they muster the votes this time. But prospects for final passage of a healthcare overhaul bill remain dim.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump and senior House Republicans have steadfastly defended their bill, however, promising it would lower healthcare costs while preserving protections for vulnerable Americans.

“The plan gets better and better and better,” Trump said last week at the White House. “And it’s gotten really, really good. And a lot of people are liking it a lot.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 April 2017 at 5:29 pm

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