Republicans’ Obamacare Lite

The GOP has finally released its so-called “repeal and replace” healthcare bill, and it’s a doozie.  After promising for 7 years that they would “repeal and replace” Obamacare with a small-government, free-market solution, what they have given us amounts to little more than a slight re-tooling of Obamacare.

What’s wrong with this bill?  Pretty much everything, but let’s break it down.

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IT’S NOT REPEAL & REPLACE

For years after the “Affordable Care Act” was foisted upon us by the Democrats, Republicans pledged that, as soon as they were able, they would repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market solutions.

This bill does not do that.

They kept the individual mandate.  They kept the subsidies.  They kept the Medicaid expansion.  They changed things just enough, of course, to create a Republican-esque narrative in the spin room.

  • The individual mandate is a penalty paid through higher premiums once uninsured people do sign up for insurance, rather than having the IRS hunt them down.
  • The subsidies are framed as tax credits, but what it really amounts to is welfare-via-tax-credits, the kind of welfare preferred by big-government Republicans.
  • The Medicaid expansion is funded for 3 years…and we’re all supposed to believe that the spineless bastards in Congress are going to let it expire as we’re in the midst of the next presidential election.

No reasonable person would call this bill “repeal and replace.”  For years, we were told that Republicans would do away with Obamacare and replace it with free market solutions.  But their proposed ‘solution’ addresses none of the factors that have been driving insurance costs up.  It does nothing to bring the free market back into American health care.  It dials back a few of the more heinous aspects of Obamacare, but that is the most that can be said for this debacle.

This is not “repeal and replace,” it is just slightly watered-down Obamacare.

Perhaps the worst part is that they’re using all of the same tricks that Democrats used to push Obamacare through in the first place.

  • They wrote the bill in secret; as Rand Paul showed us, they kept the bill in a locked room, complete with armed security.  Perhaps they knew how unpopular it would be…
  • As soon as the bill was made public, they started pushing it through Congress, railroading it through the Ways and Means Committee with an 18-hour marathon session, taking a vote just before 4:30 AM.  They’ve also rammed it through the Energy and Commerce Committee, after 27 hours of debate.

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After Obamacare was passed, Republicans pledged that they would repeal it.  Then, they bought into the Democrats’ talking point that they couldn’t just repeal Obamacare, they had to replace it with something.

Republicans told us they would do something, if only they had control of Congress.  They gained control of the House, and two years later, control of the Senate.

Then, they told us they that if only they controlled the White House, as well, then they could repeal Obamacare and replace it with free market solutions.

And through that entire time, Democrats insisted that, despite Obamacare’s flaws, it didn’t need to be thrown out – just modified a bit.

And now that the GOP controls the House, the Senate, and the White House, what do we get?  Obamacare, just modified a bit.

Enormous pressure is being brought to bear on Republicans who actually want to do what they promised to do.  For the rest of them – especially the House leaders applying that pressure, they apparently miss minority status so much, they’re ready and willing to screw up any chances they may have at maintaining or growing their majority by screwing their constituents.

jim-halpert-no

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