White House report makes case against ObamaCare repeal

White House report makes case against ObamaCare repeal
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The White House’s top economists released a sweeping report Tuesday warning of “profound implications” for a majority of Americans if ObamaCare is repealed and replaced.

The report, dubbed “the economic record” of President Obama’s healthcare reforms, marks the administration's most public effort since the presidential election to pressure Republicans into keeping parts of the law in place.

“We do think this is a particularly critical moment,” said Aviva Aron-Dine, senior counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.


Aron-Dine said the heated rhetoric over ObamaCare should be turned aside to focus on the “reality” of how the law is impacting Americans.

The report includes more than 100 pages of analysis and charts asserting that the law has added jobs, reduced premiums, improved hospital care and extended the solvency of Medicare.

It was jointly released by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the Department of Health and Human Service just two days before a key deadline. Thursday marks the last day that people can sign up for ObamaCare coverage that starts Jan. 1.

The Obama administration has forged ahead with this year’s open enrollment period, which officially ends Jan. 31, despite the blatant challenge from the incoming administration.

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE, backed by the GOP-controlled Congress, has already given direct signals that he plans to repeal the law shortly after taking office. He recently picked staunch ObamaCare foe, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), to serve as his Health secretary.

Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, are aiming to pass a repeal bill in the first 100 days of Trump’s administration, though the party remains stiffly divided over when it should go into effect.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan to host fundraiser for Cheney amid GOP tensions Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be MORE (R-Wis.) has said it will take at least a year to prepare a viable alternative, suggesting a “repeal-and-delay” strategy that some conservative groups have scoffed at.

With the deluge of new data on Tuesday, the White House is hoping to make it more difficult politically for the Republicans to roll back the law.

Jason Furman, the chairman of the CEA, called it “our most comprehensive attempt” to quantify the effects of the healthcare law, with a particular focus on the law’s role in slowing down the growth of healthcare spending.

White House officials have been increasingly making the case that the healthcare law benefits the vast majority of Americans — not just the 22 million who have gained insurance.

The report also offers a state-by-state breakdown of coverage figures, creating a spreadsheet that will likely be used by Democratic campaign committees ahead of the 2018 elections.

Some congressional Republicans are already anxious that the GOP’s timeline for repeal and replace will run up against the midterm elections, potentially causing a repeat of the Democratic shellacking in 2010 after the passage of ObamaCare.

While the report does not specifically address President-elect Donald Trump or the GOP’s “repeal” promises, it hints at the consequences of the Republican plans to rip apart the law next year.

The report mentions the word “repeal” a dozen times in 100 pages, but only in the context of economic projections.

Furman sought to downplay the report’s ties to the election's results and said it was “part of that long-term effort we’ve had” studying the healthcare law.

The administration also announced a new statistic: The healthcare law prevents about 24,000 premature deaths per year, according to the report.

“These are really tangible ways it’s making a difference,” Furman said.

— This story was updated at 5:38 p.m.