What We're Reading: More Republicans Want ACA Scaled Back, Not Repealed

December 1, 2016

What we’re reading, December 1, 2016: the percentage of Republicans that would like to see the Affordable Care Act scaled back instead of repealed has more than doubled since the election; smoking will soon be prohibited in all public housing nationwide; some physicians are incensed by the American Medical Association’s support for Rep. Tom Price as HHS secretary.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted after the election indicates that growing numbers of Republicans would rather see the Affordable Care Act (ACA) scaled back instead of fully repealed. From October to November, the percentage of Republicans hoping for a complete repeal dropped from 69% to 52%, while the percentage of those saying it should be scaled back rose from 11% to 24%. The poll also found that a majority of those who want the ACA replaced with a Republican alternative would rather have a replacement plan in place before the law is repealed.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a nationwide ban on smoking in public housing that will go into effect early next year. Some local public housing authorities have already voluntarily adopted smoke-free policies, but the new federal rule will cover about 1 million additional residences. HUD officials emphasized that the ban would be enforced by warnings, fines, and smoking-cessation support instead of more extreme measures like eviction.

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s announcement of Representative Tom Price as his nomination for HHS secretary was greeted by the American Medical Association (AMA) with a tweet supporting the Georgia Congressman, but that endorsement has provoked the ire of some liberal physicians. As of this morning, an open letter called “The AMA Does Not Speak for Us” had been signed by more than 2000 doctors. “Dr. Price’s proposed policies threaten to harm our most vulnerable patients and limit their access to healthcare,” the letter asserts, citing Price’s pledges to repeal the ACA, dismantle Medicaid, and reduce funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.