OPINION: The Deadly Incoherence of the Modern Republican Party
For years, before and after the Affordable Care Act, also infamously known as “Obamacare” passed, Congressional Republicans used the piece of legislation to delegitimize the Obama administration and the Democratic party as a whole.
They claimed that the bill was fundamentally unconstitutional and would lead to a massive rise in federal debt and amass severe job losses in the private sector.
“Repeal and replace” was the universal creed of the Republican party for years.
Today, the Republicans control both houses of Congress, the Presidency, and sooner than later, the Supreme Court. And now, they’re learning the immense administrative and political difficulties of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Last week, Paul Ryan and Co. revealed the long-awaited G.O.P. replacement to Obamacare, the American Health Care Act. So, does it live up to the hype? Will it provide cheaper and better coverage than the ACA? Will it provide “insurance for everybody” like President Trump promised voters during the 2016 campaign?
In short, the answer is no.
The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan federal governmental agency, released its cost and coverage estimates of the AHCA.
The report, which was released on Monday, provided estimates that should scare the absolute hell out of anyone who’s currently covered by Obamacare, Medicare, or Medicaid.
The CBO estimates that 14 million people would lose their coverage in the first year of the law’s existence. An additional 10 million people would lose coverage over the next decade. Finally, tax credits would be substantially cut and would be allotted based on age rather than financial need. This would lead to a dramatic rise in health care premiums, especially for older individuals. Thought Obamacare was bad? Think again.
People will die if this bill is put into law. People that live and work in our communities. Our school teachers, our janitors, our construction workers, our friends and family.
That doesn’t seem to bother Paul Ryan and Co. House Republicans have already hurried the bill through two House Congressional committees, slating it for a floor vote.
Several Senate Republicans have come out publicly stating that this bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate, including Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). The Trump administration has refused to stamp the Trump brand on this bill, most likely because Trump himself also believes that this bill is dead on arrival.
And c’mon, what was the last time that Trump actually refused to place his name on a product that someone else created when given the opportunity?
What this moment in American politics shows is that the Republican party is both fractured internally and completely ignorant of American public opinion.
If Republicans attempt to continue to push incoherent policies that do more harm than good through Congress and then to the White House, it’s only a matter of time until low and middle-income Trump voters realize that the Republican party simply does not represent their values.
The full CBO cost estimate of the American Health Care Act could be found here: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/americanhealthcareact.pdf
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