The phantom House Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), which has now been delayed more times than Blonde, is still nowhere to be seen. In fact, Tump has recently suggested that even if the law is repealed a replacement may not materialize until 2018 at the earliest.
Now, however, we’ve heard straight from the horse’s mouth what we’ve all known, namely that Republicans are refusing to present an alternative to the ACA because any such plan would inevitably be unpopular with the American people. That’s what ultra-conservative Republican Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) told Kaiser Health News earlier this week. “There is a lot less agreement about what comes next [after a repeal],” he said. “If we load down the repeal bill with what comes next, it’s harder to get both passed.” If the Republican alternative were truly superior, as their fantasyland rhetoric suggests, it wouldn’t “load down” the bill, and it certainly wouldn’t make it harder to get passed.
Sen. Lee knows, however, that Republicans’ opposition to the ACA – or that of those Republicans who know what the ACA is – has always been purely reactionary partisan politics and that the party can present no reasonable alternative plan. He knows that the American people would not support whatever hastily crafted and half-assed alternative health plan the Republicans might cook up to benefit their corporate masters at the drug companies. Indeed, support for the ACA has increased dramatically ever since a Republican repeal became a real possibility.
Could there be any better indication that Republicans’ attempts to repeal the ACA are merely a show of petty partisan politics than one of their own party’s stalwarts admitting that any alternative would be less popular? Could there be any better indication that Congressional Republicans’ love for Big Pharma and contempt for the poor outweighs their concern for the American people than their willingness to see 43,000 people die needlessly every year and average healthcare costs shoot up rather than admit President Obama did something great?
To prevent the catastrophe of an ACA repeal all reasonable intelligent Americans must do everything they can to prevent the neo-fascist Trump administration and its kowtowing cronies on Capitol Hill from stomping on the poor and disadvantaged yet again.
James DeVinne is a student at American University in Washington, DC majoring in International Service with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a founding member of Occupy Baltimore and interns at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.