Unwillingness to deliver on promises to repeal and replace Obamacare is going to destroy voter faith in the GOP. The current establishment-endorsed plan to replace Obamacare (with what is essentially Obamacare) is dead in the water and Republican leaders in Congress are only going to get it passed by amending the legislation leftward to please Democrats. That means congressional conservatives get cut out of the conversation.
Facing a no-win situation in terms of providing conservative voters a satisfactory Obamacare replacement, President Donald Trump says the GOP ought to abandon its current healthcare debate and let Obamacare collapse before working on a replacement plan.
“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let ObamaCare fail,” he told reporters Tuesday. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let ObamaCare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
The president vented the same frustration many conservatives have felt since the GOP took control of Washington this year.
“I’m sitting in the Oval Office right next door, pen in hand, waiting to sign something,” Trump said after noting that Republicans held dozens of repeal votes during the Obama administration.
An outright repeal would at least give the conservative holdouts partially responsible for blocking the current replacement bill something to write home about– but whether Obamacare is repealed, collapses, or is eventually reformed via the current process, the outcome is going to be pretty similar.
Why? When government gives, it simply refuses to take away.
After a repeal, current GOP dysfunction to this point suggests that Democrats are going to have a heavy hand in any re-write that is produced. The establishment wing of the Republican Party– and, based on his earlier statements, Trump– don’t have the stomach for the type of free market healthcare rearrangement the GOP has used as a campaign shtick for a decade.
Obamacare collapse goes something like this: States that signed on for Medicaid expansion suddenly find themselves having to figure out how to pay for millions of new healthcare charity cases by digging in to already strained state budgets. Millions of Americans throughout the country find themselves struggling to figure out where to buy insurance outside the Obamacare exchange. And insurance providers find themselves missing out on hefty government kickbacks.
The latest plan, an attempt to resurrect the 2015 Obamacare repeal– which would kill the law, but keep it in place until a replacement is delivered– just got shot down by a group of moderate Republicans: Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito, and Lisa Murkowski.
Because, as Collins put it, killing the law with no clear replacement “would create great anxiety for individuals who rely on the ACA.”
The Republican Party is effectively reminding voters that Washington runs on hot air.
There will be no Obamacare repeal. There will be no replacement. There will be no collapse.
What we will witness in the weeks and months ahead is more cup shuffling and more slogan slinging. And eventually Republican and Democratic leaders will get together, make a deal and declare healthcare fixed.
It’ll take some time, but what will emerge is going to look something like single-payer– though no one will call it that. That was the goal from the beginning.
Just wait and see.
For conservative voters, that leaves two options: Pretend, once again, that the Republican Party did its best and certainly isn’t incompetent or dishonest. Or, better but less likely, realize that the whole (D) (R) thing is a scam and start organizing toward a better way to get real conservatives into elected office at all levels of government.