“It’s not all-out warfare.”
The health care industry killed Hillarycare in the 1990s and cut deals to shape Obamacare more to its liking in 2009. But now, as Republicans push a sweeping and widely reviled health bill through Congress, the industry has often appeared declawed in the biggest health care fight of the decade.
It’s a deliberate strategy, interviews with nearly 20 lobbyists and other experts suggest. Health industry groups generally don’t love Obamacare enough to jeopardize their ability to shape the rest of the Republican agenda — including big corporate tax cuts. They also fear incurring White House retaliation.
The Trump administration has already leveled direct threats to cut off federal subsidies to health insurers, to go after the drug industry, and Republicans hold the purse strings for the federal programs that cover many of the patients seen by the nation’s doctors and hospitals.
Further complicating matters, different sectors within the industry have very different stakes in repealing Obamacare and replacing it with the GOP’s plan. Many health insurers are already ambivalent about Obamacare and could see significant tax cuts if the law is rolled back. Doctors and hospitals, on the other hand, could face a surge in uninsured patients if millions fewer Americans have health coverage.
As a result, those groups have not collectively gone all-out, on the airwaves or in the halls of Congress, to stop the GOP’s health care bill — even though they have expressed almost unanimous opposition to it.
“It’s not all-out warfare,” said Kim Monk, who tracks the health care debate in Washington for investors at Capital Alpha. “Republicans are going to be around for a while, and they tend to be your allies on really important things.”
The House legislation is projected to lead to 23 million fewer Americans having health insurance …read more
Source:: Vox – All