Policy adviser says ObamaCare is here to stay

Policy adviser Avik Roy said Wednesday that ObamaCare isn’t going away any time soon, even as President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE and congressional Republicans press forward with their efforts to undo parts of the landmark health-care law.

“There have been parts of ObamaCare that have been repealed, but I think the broad idea that we’re going to try to make sure that almost everybody has health insurance — I don’t think you’re going to repeal that,” Roy, a senior adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center, told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

Roy dismissed as a "waste of time" efforts by conservative states such Texas to challenge protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In February, Texas and 19 other states filed a Republican-backed lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that because Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty as part of the GOP’s tax bill, the mandate is now unconstitutional and ObamaCare must be completely thrown out.

But Roy cast doubt on the Supreme Court overturning ACA, saying such a controversial move is “not going to happen.”

More than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance since President Obama signed the law into effect in 2010. Under ObamaCare, health insurers can no longer deny coverage for those with preexisting conditions or charged higher premiums due to certain long-term conditions like chronic illness.

Still, Roy says the health-care law is far from perfect and costs for coverage are still too much for some lower-income Americans. 

"If you're healthy and your premium is lower, relatively speaking, and you're sick and you're premium is higher, relatively speaking — that's where the economics start to get complicated," he said, adding it's not so much about whether insurers offer coverage but whether at what cost.

Health care remains a top issue ahead of next week's midterm elections. Democrats and Republicans alike have been touting the issue as part of their campaign platforms, particularly when it comes to addressing preexisting conditions.

“Republicans will protect people with pre-existing conditions far better than the Dems!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday, though the claim conflicts with efforts from the GOP to undo the protections.

In addition to trying to overturn ObamaCare itself, House Republicans introduced a bill that included an amendment that would have allowed states to request waivers and essentially nullify protection for those with preexisting conditions.

— Tess Bonn