Let’s concede two points. First, let us concede that the Senate Republicans’ healthcare plan does not repeal Obamacare. Despite years of promises, the GOP has no intention of repealing Obamacare. Second, let us concede that the Senate Republican healthcare plan, though it does not repeal Obamacare, does promise to go in a better direction.
It does not repeal, but it does go in a better direction.
Unfortunately, the GOP’s plan is not enough of a step in the right direction to support it. It does not control costs or lower costs for Americans. It keeps most of the things people like about Obamacare while stripping away what people dislike. The result is a bill that cannot pay for itself long term and will further drive up the national debt.
Likewise, it does not introduce free market reforms to healthcare. Essentially, the Senate Republicans, like their House counterparts, are conceding that the legislation must be about access to healthcare and have consequently abandoned the goal of trying to lower the costs of healthcare.
As a result, the legislation does not really fix anything that Obamacare broke. It is a tinkering and tickling of Obamacare. Importantly, however, the moment the GOP passes it, the Democrats will be able to blame shift. Every Obamacare problem will still exist after this legislation is passed, but suddenly the GOP will own all those problems. Every terrible headline will suddenly be about Trumpcare, not Obamacare. If the GOP is forced to own the healthcare problem, they should at least attempt a real change and a real fix.
It is as if the GOP has decided to set President Trump up for failure on the core promise of repeal. This legislation does not repeal, it does not replace, and it does not substantially deviate from Obamacare. Democrat complaints are all about the GOP doing something to their precious, but those complaints have no real substance. The people who will lose insurance are the ones who did not want it anyway. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who would like to have insurance, but Obamacare prices them out of the market. This plan will not help them.
I know more than one person who got insurance to avoid the Obamacare fine. Their insurance plans are not usable at any doctor’s office, but still, they must pay for them because of the Obamacare fines. They will drop their plans if this passes and their situation will not change because they cannot use the plans anyway. What is missing from the equation is that none of these people had problems getting usable insurance before Obamacare was passed. And they still will not be able to get usable insurance after Republicans pass this plan.
The Senate GOP’s legislation is a solution in search of a problem. There is a problem called Obamacare, but the GOP’s solution barely touches it. For that and all of the above reasons, Republican Senators should vote no.