Opposition to Trumpcare 2.0 swells

The American Medical Association said it opposes the Republican health care bill.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 17, 2016. CREDIT: AP/Andrew Harnik
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 17, 2016. CREDIT: AP/Andrew Harnik

The opposition to Trumpcare is growing. The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and Catholic Health Association were the latest groups to voice their opposition to the bill on Thursday.

GOP senators, moderate House Republicans, and Democrats are also either critical of or totally oppose the latest version of Trumpcare. With the proposed addition of an amendment championed by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), and thus named the MacArthur amendment, Republican leaders won the support of far-right conservatives in the Freedom Caucus but may have lost the support of moderate Republicans. The amendment, which was announced on Tuesday, would essentially eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

MacArthur is a co-chair of the Tuesday Group, a 50-member moderate Republican group, but did not negotiate with the group’s blessing, Politico reported. Some moderate Republicans oppose the rollback of the Medicaid expansion and said the bill doesn’t address the concerns they have about how it could affect their constituents.

Rep. Leonard Lance told Politico, “I ran in support of a plan that lowers premiums, increases access and lowers health care costs across the board… Until I see a Congressional Budget Office score that says the revised bill achieves those goals I remain a ‘no’ vote.”

House Democrats are so opposed to the bill that they are threatening to vote against a short-term spending bill if Republicans schedule a vote for the health care bill this week. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said in a statement to reporters, “If Republicans announce their intention to bring their harmful TrumpCare bill to the House Floor tomorrow or Saturday, I will oppose a one-week Continuing Resolution and will advise House Democrats to oppose it as well,”


Some GOP senators are still opposed to Trumpcare or continue to have questions about whether it is passable at all. Several influential health care groups also expressed opposition to the bill on Thursday.

The American Medical Association (AMA) said it is “deeply concerned” that millions of Americans would lose their current health insurance coverage and said nothing in the MacArthur amendment would “remedy the shortcomings of the underlying bill.” The AMA added that it did not believe the high-risk pool mechanism would be sufficient to provide people affordable health insurance or prevent discrimination.

The American Hospital Association said the amendment proposed this week would “dramatically worsen the bill” and said the bill would “put health coverage in jeopardy” for many Americans, especially for older and sicker patients.

Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association released a statement saying that the bill is a “giant step backward” and added that the recent amendments, “intended to make it more palatable to those who did not support it initially, are even more disastrous for people who may have just gotten health care.”