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Author: BobR    Date: 03/15/2017 15:24:58

For years, Republicans have been deriding the ACA (AKA: ObamaCare). They claim that it has been a disaster, that it needs to be repealed and replaced with a better program. This has been their campaign issue for years, and tRump picked it up and ran with it. Now that they have a chance to make good on their blather, they seem curiously unprepared.

When the ACA was originally being crafted and debated, there were a lot of compromises that needed to be made, due to the delicate majorities the Dems had in Congress (including Democratic senators from essentially red states), and the powerful insurance company lobbies. The biggest disappointment on the left was the lack of a "public option" (insurance provided by the government, such as the ability to "buy into" Medicare). The biggest aggravation on the right was the mandate. There was a lot of "fake news" being spread back in those days, so we created a site to combat that: http://www.healthcarereformmyths.org/.

Nonetheless, it was successful for the most part. Millions of people were able to get insurance who couldn't before, the chances of having to go bankrupt because of medical problems dropped dramatically, and the overall cost for healthcare dropped. There have been outliers certainly, in particular those who are self-employed or run small businesses who don't get employer-provided insurance, and make too much money for medicaid assistance. They are a minority, and their problem could be addressed with a tweak to the law.

Tweaking is not a Republican value, unfortunately. They want big bold campaign-ad-ready actions. They want to feed the anger that they have fomented. If ObamaCare is bad for a small vocal slice of voters in swing states, then by god - it HAS to go - damn the consequences. They tried over 50 times to repeal it, and never succeeded.

They should be smart enough to know that just repealing it in its entirety would end up being a disaster, so they know (and HAVE known for 7 years) that they would need a replacement plan. They've had 7 long years to create a bill so perfect that it should be ready to fly through the House and Senate, and land on the Executive desk to great fanfare. It seems, though, that they assumed the Dems would win the White House in 2016, so there was no need to create a bill. Thus - the AHCA (note that the first "A" in ACA was for "Affordable"; the first "A" in AHCA is "American", which in this case really says all it needs to say).

This new bill - "crafted" by the House (in the same way that Big Macs are "crafted" at McDonalds) was - as claimed by Rand Paul (R-KY) in the Senate: DOA. Other Republicans have come out against the bill (including a House Rep from my state).

Of course - in Rand Paul's case, he thinks the bill doesn't go far enough. He is the minority, though, as most politicians know that pulling the rug out from under elderly constituents (who reliably vote) is political suicide. One would hope they know it's also morally wrong, but I'm not one to get my hopes up for lost causes.

The White House is still pulling for the bill - ANY bill - that will allow pResident tRump to fulfill a campaign promise - damn the consequences. It will be a tough road ahead. The margins for passing it in the House are slim; they are worse in the Senate.

This is what constitutes governance from Republicans: demand repeal of a bill that saves money and saves lives, then propose a replacement that makes things demonstrably worse, despite having years to research and prepare alterations that would make their constituents happy, and ensure their re-election for years to come.

This bill should be DOA. Otherwise, millions of people will be DOA, as should be the careers of all those who propose, support, and vote for this garbage.


45 comments (Latest Comment: 03/15/2017 21:28:48 by livingonli)
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