Controlling only the House, Republicans will, for a little while at least, have to be satisfied with rear-guard actions against Obamacare, at least at the federal level. But there is some small good news on that front.
First, the CLASS Act, which was sold as reducing the deficit but would have ended up increasing it, has had a stake put through it in the Fiscal Cliff deal:
Given its dormant status, CLASS wasn’t likely to do much damage. But there were those who seemed interested in reviving the program — and attempting to “fix” its problems by making buy-in mandatory. Repeal takes that possibility off the table.
And the new House rules will prevent that body from fast-tracking decisions from the IPAB on Medicare “cost containment” measures:
House Republicans have tried unsuccessfully to repeal the IPAB, the central cost-cutting feature in the Affordable Care Act. The IPAB was designed to take Medicare payments largely out of Congress’s hands, similar to the independent panel that recommends closing military bases, because lawmakers would rarely sign off on such politically risky moves.