If you’ve been waiting for the repeal of Obamacare, you may be waiting a bit longer.
Once again, a last ditch attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare has faltered, and with Senator John McCain (R-Az.) being treated for cancer, and Senators such as Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) being outright against the bill, the Republicans once again have a tough road ahead of them.
Why Isn’t Obamacare Gone, Already?
For those who have hoped that a Republican Senate and House majority, as well as a Republican president would finally repeal Obamacare, the issue is a bit more complex.
Although the House of Representatives had approved their own version of the ‘repeal and replace’ bill, the Senate had developed their own version which would have had to be reconciled in committee. But that wasn’t the stumbling block on the repeal and replace bill — it couldn’t be agreed on in the Senate.
With all the Democratic Senators and a few defectors on the Republican side, the Republicans couldn’t muster enough votes to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The main issues were the rollback of the Medicaid expansion, the failure to rollback the Obamacare expansion in certain areas while providing tax cuts, and doesn’t fully address the problems of the high cost of healthcare.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) took to tweeting out his frustration over the impasse, saying that removing an entitlement is one of the hardest things to do.
“A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth,” the tweet read, quoting Ronald Regan.
Why Not Simply Repeal?
Repealing Obamacare has been touted as a far simpler solution, but this idea has met stiff opposition on all sides of the spectrum. It has had seven years to get its roots into American society, and digging it out is problematic, at best.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has suggested this tactic would backfire. The Washington Post pronounces doom and gloom when it comes to actually removing Obamacare without something to replace it.
Given that Obamacare is so entrenched in society, it could cause the health insurance market to collapse, leaving an extra 32 million Americans without a plan. Premiums would double, and it would leave a deficit of some $137 Billion by 2025.
So, as much as McConnell may wish to repeal Obamacare, the facts remain that without a plan that works, it’s likely to hurt the people the GOP is trying to help – at least, that’s what we’re told.
Furthermore, without some type of replacement, states would have to pay for Medicaid — something many states do not have the funds for.
Other Problems with a Straight Repeal
Most Republicans don’t want to simply repeal Obamacare without a replacement, so McConnell may not have the votes to win the majority. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Lisa Murkowski(R- Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have announced that they would not vote for a repeal without a replacement.
Even if all 52 GOP Senators were to vote for a straight repeal, there’s still a matter of the Democrats who can filibuster the move. Without a GOP majority of 60 Senate members, there’s no ways to break the filibuster.
McConnell’s request for a straight repeal is most likely a tactic to get the Republicans back to committee to hammer out a replacement that will satisfy most members, and may even be able to woo some Democrats over to their side – at least enough to break the filibuster.
Trump’s Solution: Let it Die
With the possibility of tabling the repeal and replace legislation, the next step may be to chip away at Obamacare and let it fail.
This strategy was suggested by President Trump, who watched the Senate’s inaction in frustration. Trump could decide to stop paying subsidies to the lowest income brackets, thus causing a mass exodus from what is already a shaky health exchange business.
He could also fail to enforce the mandate that requires everyone to have some type of health insurance. The plan would be that once Obamacare started to fail, the Democrats would come to the Republicans to try to solve the overall healthcare problem.
Regardless, it looks as though the Republicans have their work cut out for them.
~ Liberty Planet