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The U.S. Funding Deadline And An Obamacare Replacemnt Bill Provide A View Into Some Republican and Democratic Political Issues

ArmchairPolitiicianGpvernmentFunding, April 23, 2017, by Brad Peery, ArmchairPolitician.US

A government funding deadline looms on April 29 that threatens a possible partial government shutdown. To pass a spending bill, Republicans will require some Democratic support in the Senate to get the required 60 votes.

The White House has inserted requests for increased defense funding, a border wall, and border enforcement. The Democrats are vehemently opposed to the border wall and hiring more border enforcement personnel. The Democrats are also adamant about including funding for the insurance companies that are supporting the healthcare exchanges under Obamacare.

The insurance companies are in the process of deciding in which exchanges they will file insurance plans and rates. The states have different filing deadlines, the first two of which are Virginia and Kentucky. The initial filings are statewide, and don’t indicate the exchanges served or rate information. Especially important will be what Anthem does in these two states, as it is the only insurer in 28 Virginia counties, and 59 Kentucky counties. There is much uncertainty among the insurance companies since they don’t know if funding will be offered, or what might be the details of an Obamacare replacement bill. If funding is not provided for lower income enrollees, rates could increase significantly, and many exchanges will undoubtedly lose providers.

There appear to be direct negotiations taking place between conservative and moderate Republicans. It appears that pre-existing conditions will be covered and essential health benefits provided under a compromise bill. Decisions on an Obamacare replacement bill, and the government funding results could both be decided in the next week.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. pulled out of most of the exchanges last year because of losses they were incurring. They recently announced significantly improve earnings because of the elimination of these losses.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion: The coming week will be an interesting one. The discord that is occurring between the conservatives and moderates in the Republican party, and the personal agenda of Speaker Paul Ryan, jeopardizes the ability of the Trump Administration to get legislation passed to enact promises made during the presidential campaign. The unity of the Democrats in opposing Trump initiatives could be a successful strategy in blocking Trump legislation. A further impediment is the need to balance the budget over a 10-year period to make legislation, such as tax cuts, permanent.

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