In a stunning turn of events yesterday, leading elements of the GOP admitted defeated and are shifting their stance on repealing the Affordable Care Act. Republican lawmakers have been hell-bent on repealing most of President Obama’s signature health insurance law ever since it was voted in, having voted to repeal all or parts of it over 60 times long before President Donald Trump won the election.
Despite their endless promises to “repeal and replace,” not once in six years have they proposed any kind of coherent replacement strategy – and now the top Republicans are admitting it can’t be done and seek merely to “repair” it.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)) said “there are some of these provisions in the law that probably will stay, or we may modify them, but we’re going to fix things, we’re going to repair things.”
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is the only Republican to so far admit that their grandiose ideas of “repealing and “replacing” may be good stump speech talking point but is practical lunacy: “It’s way more complex than simply ‘repeal and replace. That’s a fun little buzzword, but it’s just not accurate.”
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) echoed this statement, but also revealed the main reason why Republicans have made such a drastic U-turn in their ideological war against affordable healthcare for all:
I think it is more accurate to say repair Obamacare because, for example, in the reconciliation procedure that we have in the Senate, we can’t repeal all of Obamacare. ObamaCare wasn’t passed by reconciliation, it can’t be repealed by reconciliation. So we can repair the individual market, which is a good place to start.”
Of course, it wasn’t the objections of millions of Americans that provided the largest hurdle to the Republicans, who openly ignore the demands of their constituents and toss breadcrumbs to the plebs from their gerrymandered thrones, but an issue of legislative procedure.
Their contempt for ordinary working Americans who cannot afford the great American health care rip-off is evident by their crusade against what should be considered a basic human right.
The Affordable Care Act is one of President Obama’s legacies. It provided affordable health insurance to 20 million Americans and has created a lot of opposition from Republicans who support the private health market and their profit margins over the health and well-being of American citizens.
While the Republican timetable has now been pushed back as a result of this development, lawmakers are still intent on going ahead with gutting Obamacare. But there are different opinions among the Republicans: some want to retain the Medicaid expansion that was part of Obamacare in order to keep the federal money that came with it, while others like Paul Ryan are still intent on a full repeal.
At the end of the day, however, it seems that some Republicans merely want to replace the “repeal and replace” slogan in order to get better PR. Once they inevitably botch the replacement and 20 million Americans won’t have health insurance, they’ll know exactly who to blame.