About Us
Mission Statement
Rules of Conduct
Remember Me

Author: BobR    Date: 06/29/2017 13:14:23

7 years ago, Raine and I stood with several hundred strangers outside the U.S. House of Representatives waiting for an end to the debate and a vote on the ACA. We even got to go inside and sit in the gallery for 10 minutes while the debate was occurring. Ultimately, as the evening wore on, the bill passed, and the ACA became law. The Democratic representatives walked back to their offices to cheers from most of the crowd (there were a few dissenters, grousing about "the nanny state").

The ACA was called "ObamaCare", meant as a pejorative. In reality, it was healthcare insurance reform, providing relief to citizens being brutalized by their insurance companies, whose ever-increasing ravenous need to grow profits resulted in dropped coverage, increasing rates, and denial of payment - among other abuses.

The most hated part of the ACA is the "personal mandate". This is a tax break that people don't get if they don't have insurance. The rationale behind it was to ensure the insurance companies didn't bail out of the state exchanges. A certain segment of society considers that as the Federal government forcing everyone to have insurance (it really must be confusing to them to choose between helping corporations, and adhering to their small-government tenets).

Once Republicans realized they had inadvertently immortalized President Obama by attaching his name to the law, it became their mission in life to repeal it - to replace ObamaCare with McConnellCare or RyanCare or whatever. They put up bills over 50 times to repeal it, and lost every vote.

Fast forward to the present day, and Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Executive branch - much as the Democrats did in 2010. What Republicans failed to remember from the ACA days, was just how much work it took to get that to pass - and the Dems just barely had a veto-proof majority. It required acquiescing to a few "moderate" (*cough*conservative*cough*) Democrats to get complete buy-in. That's why the public option was not an option.

The new Senate bill (the BCRA) is a prime example of "policy over reality". They not only want to remove the "Obama" in ObamaCare, they also want to remove the "Care". The new bill will result in huge increases in premiums for those who can least afford them. Obviously - like any Republican bill involving money - it cuts taxes for the rich. It will also result in 22 million people losing coverage (per the CBO). Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has tried to spin this as people choosing not to buy insurance. Sure, it's "choosing" like choosing between eating and having insurance. That's not a choice.

The reality of how bad this bill is has not gone unnoticed. While the majority of Republicans seem to be willing to fall in line and sacrifice their souls (and possibly their careers) for this heinous piece of partisan dreck, their are a few who actually seem to care about their constituents. pResident tRump had them all over to the Big House to try to convince them to fulfill one of his campaign promises. It didn't go well:
Sen. Dean Heller was sitting two seats away from President Trump and facing his grim-faced colleagues this week when he decided to crack a pointed joke.

Heller — a square-jawed, ­sandy-haired moderate Republican — said the attack ads against him, paid for by a Trump-allied super PAC, should have used his own image instead of actor Matt Damon’s.

There were scattered laughs, including a chuckle from Trump. But many of the Republican lawmakers lining tables in the East Room stayed mute.

The senator from Nevada then reiterated that he had deep reservations about the party’s major rewrite of the nation’s health-care laws, despite the Trump network’s efforts to pressure him to back the legislation.

Trump nodded and said he understood Heller’s view. A ­couple of hours later, the super PAC pulled the ads off the air.

The vote on the bill has been postponed. That doesn't mean it's dead; it doesn't mean it's time to let up on the pressure. There are some tweaks to the ACA that need to be made. Republicans could craft a simple bill to fix those issues, and it would reflect well on them and be universally respected. However, "Repeal and Replace" has been uttered so often by Republicans that anything less will seem like defeat to them. They painted themselves into that corner. Now they have to choose between embarrassment or an angry mob of voters who can no longer go to the doctor or afford medications.

Your move, Republicans.

42 comments (Latest Comment: 06/29/2017 20:36:02 by livingonli)
   Perma Link

Share This!

Furl it!