Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), made the move to postpone the summer recess in order to continue GOP efforts to get their healthcare bill passed through Congress and on to President Trump’s desk.
One of the primary focuses of the 2016 elections was the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Repeublicans promised to repeal the ACA, or “Obamacare” as they had done every year since they controlled congress. However, instead of the compete repeal that was passed so often during the Obama Administration, the GOP has decided that a replacement bill needs to coincide with any removal of the ACA.
Unfortunatealy, the primary focus has been on a variety of bills that don’t repeal Obamacare at all. Instead, they focus on changing Obamacare into something that Republican special interest groups will like, much in the same way the Democrats wrote Obamacare.
To be clear, the GOP seems to have lost all interest in actually REPEALING the ACA, and instead seem focused on an alternative version of government dictated healthcare. What should be obvious to everyone by now, the votes to repeal Obamacare when the GOP knew that President Obama would veto it, were simply political theatre to win votes and gain campaign donations. The Republican Party clearly has no interest in getting the federal government out of the healthcare industry.
No one should really be surprised. On nearly every issue of substance, the GOP has become every bit as pro-big government as the Democrats. The rhetoric is different, especially when it’s time for re-election, but with few exceptions, no one really seems interested in doing as they promised.
Republicans get the rhetoric right at times. Even now they say Obamacare is self-destructing. They’re right about that. Insurers are pulling out all over the country. It’s clear the ACA is a colossal failure. So, what any sane group of people dedicated to saving their country would do, is to simply repeal the thing and stop the madness. Instead, McConnell, Ryan, and most of the GOP Congress seem intent on tweeking the law and then being saddled with the blame when it inevitably causes chaos.
It’s almost like the GOP WANTS to lose. I, for one, can’t come to any other conclusion. If they wanted to win they would repeal the thing and do it in such a way that allowed the free market to take back over during the course of a year or so. This is so simple a child could figure it out. The government is BAD at nearly everything, and it is ALWAYS inefficient. That’s why it needs to be involved as little as possible.
If the McConnell’s play to get the bill passed by holding Congress in DC works, when the inevitable collapse comes, it won’t be the Democrats who get the blame, it will be the GOP, and it will be deserved. The only way to avoid it is to leave it alone and let it collapse saying “See? We told you so!” or they can repeal this monstrosity in a way that gets the government out of the process completely.
The problem is, they don’t know how to fight the rhetoric of “Republicans want people to die” that they’re already taking from the likes of Bernie Sanders. They don’t know how to fight it because the proper response is free market principles which they don’t understand and certainly don’t believe in.
Even Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a stalwart in the fight against the ACA, seems to be softening somewhat, and may settle for less than full repeal. He seems to have gained a prominent spot in the negotiations, and even added an amendment along with conservative favorite Mike Lee (R-UT). However, the all or nothing approach that has long been the hallmark of the Cruz way of doing business, seems to have waivered.
We’ll all have to wait and see how this plays out, but there is little hope that the McConnell and Ryan led GOP will do as they promised and repeal Obamacare. I’d say it was foolish to believe they ever would based on the last few years of kow-towing to Obama on every budget deal. The GOP is every bit the big government party the Democrats are.
Some may argue whether or not the GOP ever should have made the promise to repeal Obamacare entirely in the first place, yet the fact remains the promise was made, and it doesn’t seem that many on Capitol Hill nor anyone in the White House is that interested in fulfilling it. President Trump has done little to advance a real repeal.
The political question becomes, what does this mean for the GOP going forward? Talks of a new Conservative party have been around for years. The GOP may be signing its own death warrant if it fails to deliver on this big promise to repeal the ACA. It may ultimately destroy the greatest health system in the world, and destroy themselves with it. I, for one, won’t miss it.