“The White House is coming to realize the impossibility of bringing together hard line conservatives with moderate Republicans on almost any issue.“
Republicans in Congress announced that they have a new version of a GOP healthcare bill to push through the House. They want to let President Trump claim he fulfilled his campaign promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare although the measure will not accomplish that entirely.
The new plan comes weeks after Trumpcare was pronounced dead on arrival due to the evaporation of support from moderate GOP representatives who realized that they could not defend to constituents taking away healthcare coverage from poor people and people with pre-existing conditions.
Trumpcare 2 would eliminate the tax penalties Obamacare imposed on people who don’t buy insurance coverage and eliminate taxes in the ACA on higher-earning people that are used to subsidize the program. It also cuts Medicaid programs for low-income people and lets the states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.
It will lead to huge premium increases for people with pre-existing conditions, since Obamacare restrictions on premiums are changed, and increased rates for older Americans who are at greater risk of filing claims.
This “improved” plan will be worse for poor people and people with pre-existing conditions and older people while it reduces the number of Americans covered by health insurance. It will allow healthy young people to continue to have no insurance and then pay all their bills for catastrophic care if they suffer an accident or a debilitating illness.
It is good for wealthy Americans who will be relieved of another tax burden. It is good for insurance companies who can continue to concentrate on profits rather than services.
It is tragic that compromise has become a dirty word in politics. The problem with making laws is that it is impossible to satisfy people inflexibly attached to positions who are on opposite ends of a spectrum even when it is a Republican spectrum.
The White House is coming to realize the impossibility of bringing together hard line conservatives with moderate Republicans on almost any issue. The new Trumpcare adds a meager fund of money to help people who have pre-existing medical conditions get coverage as a sop to moderate GOP legislators but the money needed would be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Trumpcare 2 proposes only several billion for the fund to help strapped and sick Americans. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised, “We will pass this bill.”
If Republican and Democratic Party leaders could fashion a platform where the “we” would be bipartisan and include most elected officials, all Americans would be helped. There would be progress in Washington D.C.
If this proposal degenerates into partisan wrangling, assuming the GOP can sell this plan to its own members, it could lead to a bitter battle in Congress over the bipartisan $1 trillion funding measure.
Poll results reflect that President Obama’s maligned health care law has actually gained in popularity with the people while the debate over a GOP replacement program has heated up. A Trumpcare 2 legislative victory now will lead to Republican defeats in the next elections.
No matter what happens with Trumpcare 2, Democrats should eschew attempting to “defund” the government by blocking the funding bill, although it is a favorite GOP blackmail strategy, because, in the end, it makes them no better that the short-sighted and callous ideologues who are pulling the strings on the other side of the aisle.
The GOP should consider why more than a dozen Republicans, AARP, senior citizen groups, physician organizations and patients’ rights organizations are all united in opposition to this proposal. If this hastily thrown together measure passes, the GOP may get burnt while attempting to bask in the glow of the legislative “victory.”