Ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed, Republicans have been trying to cripple or destroy it. During President Obama’s tenure, they voted at least 50 times to repeal the healthcare law, only to get slapped down by the Senate. It became a running joke because of how many times the GOP and Paul Ryan took a vote simply for political posturing.
Now that they have control of Congress and with Donald Trump in the White House, Republicans have finally released their repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. After all of the hype and the promises to come up with a better healthcare plan, what the GOP is proposing is so bad that Trump doesn’t want his name on it as was done with Obamacare.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the Republican healthcare plan would drastically raise premiums for older Americans – the same demographic that put Trump in office. At least 24 million Americans would drop out of the healthcare market due to the price, or because of the removal of the individual mandate.
This healthcare bill is so bad that a Trump ally is urging him to scuttle the bill, and go for universal healthcare instead.
Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the conservative Newsmax brand, isn’t normally considered a major thought leader on policy issues, but he is a longtime friend of Trump’s, and counts as one of a relatively small number of conservative players who have closer ties to Trump than to congressional Republican leaders.
And he is warning loud and clear that Trump “could inherit the bad political baggage of both Obamacare and the House Republicans” if he insists on going along with Ryan’s version of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Instead, Ruddy puts forward the rather radical notion that Trump should attempt to live up to his campaign promises on health care rather than signing on to legislation that betrays them all. To do it, he encourages Trump to ditch his effort to court the Freedom Caucus and instead come up with a bipartisan plan that accepts a large government role in providing insurance coverage. (Vox)
Obamacare isn’t perfect, and the Republican plan to replace it is horrific. If Trump signs off on the proposed repeal, it will hurt his supporters the most. It will likely cost Republicans dozens of seats in the House, and the majority in the Senate in 2018 which then renders Trump impotent for the remainder of his term – if he lasts that long.
The GOP has painted themselves into a corner on healthcare. The only thing that can save them now is proposing single-payer, national coverage or leaving things as is and allowing insurance companies to compete nationwide. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the GOP has nobody to blame but themselves.
Somewhere in Hawaii, President Obama has to be laughing at Paul Ryan. I know I would.