February 13, 2017 by David K. Sutton
Republicans Lost At Sea On Obamacare Repeal
Over the years, Republicans have voted for a variety of Obamacare repeal bills. This time last year the repeal count was over 60. These repeal votes were red meat for their rabid base, a dog and pony show for the rest. Because Republicans knew they had the cover of an Obama veto, they never had to do the hard work. Turns out this governing thing isn’t so easy when it really matters.
Now that Republicans control the White House, and considering how hell-bent they are to repeal the healthcare law, why haven’t they done it yet? Donald Trump vowed to make it a top priority. But Republicans know if they repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if they change anything, if they do anything at all, they will own healthcare, good or bad, just as Democrats owned healthcare after the ACA became law in 2010. Because Republicans know they are treading on a political minefield, don’t be shocked if a replacement plan might not come until next year.
Congress blew past a self-imposed Jan. 27 deadline to introduce legislation to end the health law. Mr. Trump told Fox News in an interview that ran Sunday that a replacement for the health law might not be ready until next year.
Republicans wasted a lot of time and taxpayer dollars voting to repeal the ACA over 60 times, so you might think they also spent time working on a replacement plan. Not so much. And it turns out answers are few and far.
The imminent problem: Constituents want answers, and without any consensus on how to go about replacing the law, Republicans have little to say.
“It’s kind of like, you know, getting a 30,000-piece jigsaw puzzle for Christmas,” Mr. Sensenbrenner said, “and, you know, cleaning off the dining room table and seeing how long it takes to put all the 30,000 pieces together in the right place. It’s not going to be easy.”
Yeah, governing isn’t easy, but intransigence and obstinacy certainly make it more difficult than necessary. Instead of being against the ACA, a law that clearly has improved the lives of many millions, why don’t Republicans work with Democrats to improve it? Nobody is being obstinate on the other side of the aisle, unless you consider it obstinate to work on legislation that would make it possible for everyone to have access to healthcare. I can’t imagine there’s a single Democrat who would not welcome Republicans working with them to improve the ACA.
Republicans, it’s your move.