Republicans voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than three dozen times, ran on a pledge to eliminate the law on “day one,” and sought to underfund the measure at every opportunity. But since the Supreme Court upheld the ACA and President Obama won re-election the political dynamics of reform have changed: Republican governors are slowly embracing elements of the law and Congressional Republicans are no longer scheduling votes to repeal it. In another sign of the growing political support for health reform — or the sense that opposing its most popular elements has become politically perilous — a group of top House Republicans have written a letter to President Obama asking him to preserve a temporary program included in the law that provides health care coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. The so-called Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) was designed as a bridge to the exchanges for families and individuals who don’t have an offer of coverage from an employer and cannot find insurance in the individual market. The $5 billion program, which covers only sick people is incredibly costly, and will soon stop processing new applicants. Republicans however, are incensed, and are demanding that the White House shift funds from prevention or comparative effectiveness research to keep the PCIP running.
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