With the release of the Senate’s health care bill, Republican leadership in Congress has made its official position very clear:
Obamacare is here to stay.
From the beginning, it became clear fairly quickly that Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was deeply flawed. But that didn’t deter the Democrats in their mad dash to pass the bill while they still held their legislative majorities. With their media allies, they whipped the nation into a frenzy, convincing as many people as they could that millions of Americans could die at any moment due to a lack of health insurance.
Yes, it was flawed, but it would do amazing things – we just need to pass it!
Their excuse was that, no matter how flawed Obamacare may be, it can always be fixed later.
But after Democrats passed it, and subsequently lost their legislative majorities in both the House and the Senate, Republicans in Congress insisted that “fixing” Obamacare was not good enough. The legislation and its accompanying regulations were damaging our nation, hurting small businesses, putting people out of work or into part-time jobs instead of full-time jobs.
The legislation, according to Republicans, was so deeply flawed that “fixing” it would not be enough. Obamacare must be repealed.
But now that they’re in charge, they’re playing a much different tune.
Where they used to criticize Democrats for developing Obamacare in secret, Republicans have now developed two health care bills – one in the House, and one in the Senate – behind closed doors.
Where they used to criticize Democrats for rushing Obamacare to a vote, Republicans rushed their bill through the House (albeit after some wrangling resulting from their first bad bill), and now the Senate has released its bill, seeking to vote on it next week.
Where they used to criticize Democrats for passing a bad bill to be ‘fixed’ later, Republicans now have proposals from both sides of Congress that do not repeal Obamacare, but instead seek to fix it with Republican reforms.
After 8 years of crying “Repeal and Replace,” Republican leadership has bought in to the Democrats’ vision. Obamacare may be flawed, but it doesn’t need to be scrapped, it just needs a few fixes.
Thankfully, four Senators – Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Ted Cruz (TX), and Ron Johnson (WI) released a joint statement stating that they will not vote for the bill as proposed. So, if McConnell sticks to his timetable of voting on the bill next week, they don’t have a lot of time to finagle the compromise they’ll need to get the bill passed. These four, however, seem to be the only Republicans in the Senate who are actually talking about sticking to their promise to repeal the original bill, rather than just making a few tweaks here & there.
This Republican push to fix Obamacare is starting to remind me of that house Tom Hanks bought in The Money Pit. I’m sure this will all turn out well for America by the end of the movie.