Just as Senate Republicans felt they were on their way to passing a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, one anti-abortion provision in the Trumpcare legislation is poised to bring the whole effort down.
According to The Hill, “A key provision in [the GOP] healthcare reform bill related to abortion is unlikely to be allowed, raising a serious threat to the legislation.”
More from the report:
The parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, has flagged language that would bar people from using new refundable tax credits for private insurance plans that cover abortion, according to Senate sources.
If Republicans are forced to strip the so-called Hyde language from the legislation, which essentially bars federal funds from being used to pay for abortions unless to save the life of a mother or in cases of rape and incest, it may doom the bill.
The reason this provision may not be allowed, as The Hill also notes, is because legislation passed under reconciliation – which Republicans are using with this bill – must meet the requirements of the so-called Byrd Rule, which in part “states that a provision cannot produce changes in government outlays or revenues that are merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision.”
“In other words, a provision passed under reconciliation cannot be primarily oriented toward making a policy change instead of impacting the budget,” the report continues.
The anti-abortion language in Trumpcare clearly violates that rule, which is likely enough to bring the legislation crashing to the ground, which would represent another embarrassment for Republicans, who have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare for the better part of a decade.
Given just how small the GOP margin for error is in the Senate, removing this provision from the legislation will likely push some of the more extreme Republicans toward opposing the measure and doom Trumpcare – again.
This is good news for millions of Americans who would lose health insurance and benefits as a result of the GOP plan, but terrible news for the president and his GOP allies in Congress.