The House of Representatives is charging ahead with a vote on the GOP’s healthcare plan today few understand in full, but that many project will harm millions of Americans without making any tangible improvements to the current system.
After a number of embarrassing snafus throughout the past several months that left Republican hopes of repealing Obamacare unfulfilled, GOP moderates have apparently been swayed over by behind-the-doors concessions that could lead to the bill’s passage in the House. But the legislation’s ultimate enactment into law is far from certain. There is every possibility that it simply stalls and dies in the Senate.
Perhaps an even larger issue for House Republicans – whose party is increasingly viewed unfavorably by the US public – is if this completely unnecessary and toxic piece of legislation actually does become law. If it does, the cat’s out of the bag.
For all of the promise of a better system that provides better rates for more people, Trump voters will see costs spike. Many will lose their insurance. All of a sudden, preexisting conditions will matter again, stonewalling people’s efforts to acquire affordable coverage.
In a baffling display of overt hostility to the American public, one amendment in the bill would allow states to consider sexual assault a preexisting condition.
The simple fact is that for seven long years Republicans lied. They held up Paul Ryan as some sort of wonky conservative godsend who would deliver the US public from the tyranny of Obamacare while paving the way to quality and cheap coverage for all. But no Republican policy framework could permit this. The party’s singular drive is to cut federal spending – especially on healthcare – so it can pursue its unpopular tax cuts for the wealthiest. After promising a better solution for the better part of a decade, all Ryan could offer in January was a watered down joke that amounted to a significantly worse version of Obamacare.
While the GOP may have felt euphoric after last November’s election, the cold reality that the conservative project is dead is, day-by-day, more readily visible. A maze of contradictions, the party’s incompatible mix of campaign promises and policy goals is now coming to a head.