Rounds working for solution to Obamacare, part of team assembling compromise.

Politico is reporting that South Dakota’s Senator Mike Rounds is part of a bi-partisan group that’s working to ease the transition between Obamacare and the needed reforms to our health care system without abrupt increases in costs to citizens:

A bipartisan deal in Congress offers a glimmer of stability for the Obamacare insurance markets. But for it to become law, each party will need to declare a victory — and President Donald Trump will have to agree to prop up a law he just spent months trying to repeal.

For Democrats, the deal negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would restore key subsidies that Trump cut off just days ago. For Republicans, it would offer states flexibility to approve health insurance plans that would have the lower premiums they’ve promised voters.

and…

But Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who has worked with Alexander to whip up support, expressed confidence that Trump could convince skeptical Republicans to fall in line. “The fact that the president has indicated a real interest in seeing a bipartisan fix like this move forward for a short-term fix is critical,” Rounds said. “If the White House said, ‘Look, we’re not interested in it,’ then I don’t think we’d be able to go anyplace with it.”

Read it here.

Senator Rounds also offered further comment on the plan to the Greg Belfrage show on KELO Radio:

“This would, for a period of two years, provide the states a chance to actually do some things to slow down premium increases, keep the cost sharing revenues in place long enough for us to get the actual repeal and replace completed.”

Read that here.

What do you think? Does this help get the repeal and replace job done in an atmosphere where every vote counts? Or is nothing better than something?

43 Replies to “Rounds working for solution to Obamacare, part of team assembling compromise.”

  1. Thomas

    The Republicrats ran on REPEAL and replace, NOT bend over and grab your ankles because the big, bad, scary demoncrats are threatening you. Do what you promised or resign and make room for someone who will.

    1. Anonymous

      You’re totally right! They should just keep voting to repeal like the previous 8 years until the Democrats get back into power and impose single payer. Good plan!

  2. Malachi

    According to a CNN push alert about 45 minutes ago, the President has “blasted” it a day after praising it so I’m not sure whether or not it will hold or whether Sen. Rounds will continue to push for it.

    I’m all for compromise and I don’t think there’s enough of it right now in D.C. Every political fight has become all or nothing, and in the end that only divides and hurts our democracy. As a liberal myself (yes, I know I’m sort of outnumbered on this website), I’ve always supported the Affordable Care Act but understood that it is vastly flawed and needs to be fixed. I’m hopeful that both parties can reach a compromise.

      1. Malachi

        I would love too Steve!

        Maybe I chose my words a bit too strongly there with “vastly” but no one will dispute it is flawed. Here’s how I can support it though (be warned, this post is a bit long).

        As a 23 year-old (going on 24) college student, the Affordable Care Act has been incredibly beneficial for me personally in the fact that I’m able to stay on my parents’ health insurance until I turn 26. Furthermore, the fact that insurance agencies can’t charge through the nose anymore based on preexisting conditions has been a godsend for both friends and family members. These are all things that I think everyone can agree are generally good about the ACA. The ways it is flawed are well documented and I won’t go into too much detail about them, but the major problem has been the rising cost of premiums.

        Even with these costs, however, I can still support the ACA because no better option has been put forward which would deal with the premium issue while still maintaining the level of health coverage currently offered by President Obama’s signature accomplishment.

        For the last eight years or so, from the time I was in 8th grade to my first year of graduate school, I have heard the Republican Party complain about the law and have read about their 30+ attempts to repeal it. In 2016, I was interested in what the GOP would bring forward as a replacement to the ACA now that they had the House, the Senate, and the White House. What was introduced, however, was a rushed and sloppy job which was written in secret with little to no input from the opposing party or from healthcare providers.

        Add in the fact that every single replacement that they came up with was rushed through committee before the nonpartisan CBO had a chance to look at them (not to mention some members of Congress didn’t even know what was in the bills) and that millions were estimated to lose healthcare if the bills were passed, I was and am far from ready to abandon the ACA.

        That’s how I can support it. I would rather have something that is working mildly well with some flaws then go back to a time when insurers could unfairly charge someone or refuse to cover someone completely due to a preexisting condition. Also, the ACA is now so integrated with the healthcare system that it would be incredibly difficult to do away with it all.

        My opinion is that we should Obamacare and work together to fix it. I don’t know why compromise is such a dirty word anymore in politics or why people would be against this compromise? It seems like the states would be able to have more say over their markets (something Republicans want) and some subsidies would still be maintained (something Democrats want). Why not try it out and see if it works? It’s better than doing nothing!

        1. Anne Beal

          Malachi-
          Nice to know that someone of the generation who will get the bill for all these freebies thinks it’s a grand idea.
          Do you have student loans? The interest is helping to pay for that free ride you are getting on your parents’ plan for an extra 8 years. Depending on how deep in debt you are getting during those years, it might be a good deal. Might not. Depends on how marketable your education is. If you borrow more than you can expect to earn your first year after graduation, you are in deep. Too deep. Even if you haven’t borrowed for your education, enough of your age group has, and there are so many of you that student loan forgiveness is just a few years off. They will vote for any fool who promises it.
          Eventually you will figure out none of this stuff is free. But by then there will be another generation of voters demanding that everything they want be paid for by somebody else

          1. Anonymous

            Anne, really? You do realize you are a part of the most entitled generation to ever exist in American history? The ones who took 40 years of the most prosperous time ever in recorded history and have nothing but debt, failing programs, and a growing divide economically and politically to show for it. Your generation still hasn’t paid for a single thing since you were born. Now, you look to us to clean up your mess and then get mad when younger generations just want the basic opportunities you were afforded? Why don’t you educate yourself?

        2. Steve Sibson

          “I can still support the ACA because no better option has been put forward which would deal with the premium issue while still maintaining the level of health coverage currently offered by President Obama’s signature accomplishment. ”

          Thanks for your response Malachi. It is impossible to provide healthcare without paying for it. The question then becomes, who pays for it . Obamacare is forcing healthy young people to pay by mandating their participation or be accessed a so-called tax. That is why it is “vastly flawed” for young people such as yourself.

          Socialism will fail in the long run because it violates the cost/benefit rule, which requires those receiving the benefits must bear its costs. The repeal and replace attempts are frauds as they are simply about shifting who pays, and only continues down the path of the “vastly flawed” socialism.

        3. Springer

          Malachi, as you are still on your parents health insurance and they are presumably paying the bills, I submit you don’t have much skin in the game under Obamacare and it’s rising costs. Come back after you have been out of school and paying your own bills, have a high priced insurance plan and high deductibles (meaning you won’t probably see much in the way of insurance payments if you get sick anyway) and then tell us how great Obamacare is. And you will of course have a good enough job that you won’t qualify for the exchanges or subsidies and will be footing the bill yourself, plus helping at for all the rest who are getting subsidies. You won’t have access to a basic insurance policy like were offered before obamacare but will be forced to take a policy covering things you don’t need or want. Let’s see what your opinion is when you get out into the real world.

          1. Malachi

            Anne- Thanks for the comment. Just remember that if/when the Republicans finally figure out how to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we all better hope that the moderate wing of the party wins out over the conservative one otherwise you and your generation might just lose your medicare and other benefits.

            Anonymous – Thanks for the backup! Please remember to vote and support young candidates no matter what party you affiliate with. It’s my opinion that the up and coming politicians of both parties (those under the age of 35) will be the ones to help dig us out of the mess we’ve been put in and help heal the political divide placed by the previous generation. Certainly I’ve found my conversations with College Democrats and College Republicans to be incredibly less divisive or personal than the ones I’ve had with members of older generations.

            Steve – Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that no matter what happens, someone needs to foot the bill. I also agree with you that socialism is a failed system of government. However, the competition between private health insurers did little in the way of protecting the little guy when it came to being screwed over in regards to health insurance. Some government oversight is necessary with any program. I believe our main difference in opinion rests with how much government oversight / participation is needed. I would also argue that despite its designation by many on the right as “socialism,” the Affordable Care Act is no more socialistic than Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security which were similarly controversial when those programs were implemented.

            Springer – Thanks for the comment. You make a good point in that I don’t have much skin in the game at this point. Might I ask you what you would rather have in place if not the ACA? I don’t see how any of the replacement plans that have been proposed so far this year by the GOP would be helpful in regards to making sure people are able to be insured if they have preexisting conditions? And while I understand the sentiment of not wanting to foot the bill of health insurance for other people, this is not the first national social program. Medicare and Medicaid are both things you and I have to pay into. While they’re annoying in the short run, in the long run it helps improve the country while helping out your fellow Americans.

  3. Anonymous

    If we could have a full slate of Dave Bratt’s and Ted Cruz’s this country could really be heading in a better direction from where we’ve been going in the past 8 years with Obummer; however, we are stuck with the likes of Snow, Collins, Murkowski, McCain and their ilk, and everything has to be watered down to get it past the establishment.

  4. Anonymous

    In the political maneuvering it seems that many GOP, Senator Rounds included, went to DC on the promise to repeal the ACA, voted many times to repeal the ACA when it didn’t matter (because President Obama would never sign such legislation), then get the chance to repeal the ACA with new President Trump’s pen ready to sign, BUT realizes that the coverage is needed for so many Americans, so work with a bi-partisan group (initially supported by President Trump, but later . . .) to keep prices low and continue ACA’s ability to cover, only to have Trump reverse course. Which if my score card is right, has Rounds working to support the ACA in opposition to a president trying to destroy it. Right?

  5. Michael Wyland

    I always wondered how a Senate “bipartisan compromise” would fare in the House after the Senate passed it (assuming they did).

    What the GOP gets in the deal is hidden in the details, but it essentially gives the states the opportunity to get more lenient Obamacare waivers that might look a lot like the House’s “repeal and replace” bill (the AHCA, if anyone remembers). For a model, take a look at what Iowa has proposed in their waiver application.

  6. Troy Jones

    In the Democrat caucus: Hey, this keeps Obamacare from imploding and it will split the Republicans. Whose for this?

    In the Republican caucus: Who had their hands behind their backs and fingers crossed?

    1. The Sage

      In the Democrat caucus: Hey, this helps to stabilize the individual insurance marketplace and provide certainty for health insurance companies and consumers alike. Who is for this?

      In the Republican caucus: We don’t have the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. This buys us some time to see if we can pick up some senate seats in the 2018 election.

      When the short game isn’t working, why not play the long game? Some people can’t see beyond their own angry nose. Rounds can.

  7. Troy Jones

    P.S. To make sure I’m giving equal expression of my anger, this is also on the charter members of Obamacare Republicans:

    House Freedom Caucus members, Rand Paul, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.

    However, we’ll see soon who the new Obamacare Republican recruits are. Looks like it is a growing bunch.

    1. Steve Sibson

      The Obamacare Republicans was launched by Mitt Romney. Rand Paul is not part of that group. Paul opposes the replacement because it is more of the same socialized medical agenda being pushed by the Medical Establishment.

  8. Springer

    If the insurance companies were making millions in profits off Obamacare subsidies, why continue them at all? If they are gone, maybe the insurance companies can live on smaller profits, like the rest of the country has to. Bipartisan in this situation and all others so far has been doing what the Dems want or doing nothing because the GOP is scared of the Dems; there is no bipartisan when the present Dems are under the tutelage of Chuck and Nancy. And the people are getting tired of it! When Dems yell that repealing Obamacare will put people off insurance, they conveniently forget the many people who were put off of their perfectly good insurance when Obamacare started or the people who can’t afford the insurance, deductibles, and premiums they are now stuck with.

  9. Troy Jones

    Steve,

    Thanks to the nut jobs who supported McDonnel in Delaware. Aiken in Missouri, Angle in Nevada, Mourdock in Indiana, and a few others I can’t recall off the top of my head (and probably Moore in Alabama), Rand Paul either has to choose to become part of a potential majority to incrementally end Obamacare or his voice and vote is not effectively any different than Bernie Sanders.

    People who give Paul a pass are contributing to a future single payer system. I am sure it feels good to live in a cocoon of perfect adherence to principles but the road you are on leads to Hell on earth. You don’t get a pass for good intentions. Results matter.

    I hope Kentucky gets two new Republican Senators because they both equally inhibit conservative success.

  10. Troy Jones

    Springer in response to Malachi:

    Great point. I’ve laughed at how many times these young people think a LAW is great which forces their parents to continue to pay their bills until they are 8 years into being an adult. You said it very well.

    I remember when I graduated from college (college my single mom was unable to materially assist me with) and I told my mom we’d alternate on who bought lunch when we went out. It makes my head shake as Malachi doesn’t even wince to think he it a good thing he is still living off his parents. We would have been ashamed. Maybe that is the point- he has no shame whose tit he sucks from.

    Steve, Rand Paul was one of my first choices for President. Today, I can hardly stand to listen to him. He is so arrogant and selfish to “keep himself pure” philosophically that he doesn’t care the consequences is there isn’t even partial relief from the slavery that is Obamacare. I see him and Bernie Sanders in exactly the same light- Co-conspirators in the enslavement of Americans.

    1. Steve Sibson

      Troy, philosophically I disagree with Obamacare and all forms of socialized medicine. But pragmatically Obamacare will make it much easier for me to retire early. Pragmatists will allow Obamacare, or some form of it, to survive.

    2. Malachi

      Troy – Thanks for the delightful comment, you were certainly colorful in your language. It seems you’ve made some assumptions about me that I’d like to clear up and I’d also like to respond to your incredibly condescending post.

      1. I’m not living off of my parents. I pay for my rent, my phone bill, my groceries, my utilities, and my college through hard work and perseverance. I am very proud of the fact that I was able to find multiple paid summer internships during my undergraduate and graduate education which allowed me to live on my own starting the summer of my freshman year. At this point in my life, my parents help me with my car insurance and health insurance.

      2. It makes “my head shake” that you and others of your generation are so quick to write mine off and to judge us for a situation we did not ask for. It was not us who allowed the economy to fall into the worst recession since the Great Depression, it was not us who placed us further in debt through multiple wars in the Middle East which members of my generation now fight and die in, and it was not us who allowed education to become a black hole of debt for anyone who sought a four-year degree.

      I assume you’re a baby-boomer, in which case you were privy to one of the most prosperous times in American history. If you went to college, you were more than likely able to go for less than $1,000 a semester and after getting that degree you were able to find a good job and start a family with money left over for a nice starter home. Unfortunately for me and other young people, we have not been afforded those same opportunities. Life, it seems, is quite a bit more expensive now than when it was in your day so when we get down to it I find it incredibly ironic for you to tell me that I am essentially leeching off of the rest of you.

      1. Tara Volesky

        Malachi, there is nothing wrong with living with your parents or getting roommates to help with rent. That’s smart business. Get out of debt as fast as you can. You don’t want to work for the bank the rest of your life.

    3. Tara Volesky

      Troy, have you ever thought it might be honorable for kids to help their parents with bills, food , insurance. If more people helped their families by sharing living expenses, there would be less government handouts such as government housing, food stamps and medicade. Nothing wrong with helping each other instead of relying on Government. I think if is disrespectful to criticize someone that is helping out a family member. We have become to much of a me society.

  11. Troy Jones

    Steve,

    You are conflating two words. What you are actually saying is “selfishly” Obamacare is in your self-interest. People who prefer to appeal to self interest will allow it to continue.

    Pragmatists are people who look at reality today, change what they can today, and lay the groundwork for future change.

    1. Steve Sibson

      And that future is unprincipled, so there in lays the ground work for self-interest to rule the future. Do you think Senator Rounds may have a huge conflict of interest regarding policies that impact health insurance practices? Check this libertarian analysis of the “vastly flawed” so-called Conservative Pragmatism:

      https://www.cato.org/blog/flaw-conservative-pragmatism

  12. Troy Jones

    Steve,

    I hope you are smarter than what you wrote. Just because an article uses the word pragmatism in one context doesn’t mean it is the same thing in another context.

    The advocate of the policy mentioned in the article is trying to rationalize the status quo in the US. Rand Paul is doing stuff to ensure the status quo stays in place. They are co-conspirators because what they do gets the same result.

    A person who desires to tear down a building (or a program) who doesn’t have the tools (or votes) to tear it down in own motion pragmatically doesn’t sit on the sidelines and whine like Rand Paul wishing he had more tools. He starts where he can and tears it down nail by nail, stud by stud.

    Conservatives who sit on the sidelines and whine because it isn’t perfect enough are Bernie Sanders enablers. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. Troy Jones

    Malachi,

    Oh, you wittle snowflake. Woe is you. Aren’t you lucky mommy is still there for you? You really need to listen to yourself. I pity you for you should have more gratitude and less sense of entitlement but to the issue at hand.

    Among the flaws of Obamacare is exactly your little entitlement. As nice as it is for your generation to get a subsidy for years after being gainfully employed (children pursuing graduate education already could stay on parents tit), it exacerbated the lack of financial viability of Obamacare because the young and healthy aren’t paying for insurance. So, the law needs mandates, subsidies, guaranteed coverages, and a host of other coercion’s to kinda work.

    But, in your world I realize, if it insures you don’t have to suffer any hardship, it has to be good. To make sure you don’t wet the bed and have self esteem problems, I will close with giving you a cyber participation trophy.

    1. Malachi

      Wow Troy, you really excel at being a keyboard warrior. Congrats! If you ever get tired of flinging the word “snowflake” around and generally want to have a friendly and civilized debate, look me up the next time you’re passing through Vermillion. We can grab a beer or coffee and discuss the issues face-to-face like adults!

      1. KM

        Troy schooled you. It’s okay, he’s pretty good at what he does. There’s always next time, good luck;)

  14. Troy Jones

    Malachi,

    Here’s the deal. You come on here, state your opinion as if it is fact, and spout out a bunch of bromides issued by Obama swallowed by its sycophants hook line and sinker. In private or with smart people, they even admit what they say is shallow bs. Your real world experience is none since you are still on the tit of your parents. I call bs.

    The “justifications” for keeping it regarding premiums and pre-existing conditions is not real thought. Its a statement you want low premiums (for yourself I presume because they are subsidized by others) and pre-existing conditions to be covered (the GOP has always had a long-term viable answer on this but it doesn’t engender governmental redistribution* so the Dems won’t go for it)

    You need to be both smart and humble enough to know what you don’t know. Until then, you are are just a child using adult words talking about serious issues.

    * Using health care policy to achieve an economic goal (redistribution) but say it is about health care is despicable and intentionally deceptive. Obamacare is at its core one big scam to achieve liberal elite hegemony over the poor and middle class. You are being duped.

  15. Tara Volesky

    Troy, I bet you voted for the big government candidates that brought in common core and Obama care. We don’t have conservative congressman and women in SD. Very few in Pierre too. Aren’t they called R*N*s?