The Republican Party unveils a Healthcare Plan: Or, Politics is not Governing

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Did you know the Affordable Care Act and “Obamacare” are one and the same? If answering in the affirmative, you can count yourself in the 67 percent of the country who gave a similar response. One-third of Americans do not understand “Obamacare” is the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican Party did a really good job. Republicans spent years lambasting the Affordable Care Act. They made up parts of the plan to make it seem less viable. Told supporters it was too expensive and provided poor healthcare.

Republicans invented “Obamacare”. They attempted for years to destroy the plan via repeal, blocking funding, court challenges, even shutting down the government.

Finally, the Republican Party got their chance. On the campaign trail Donald Trump said he would repeal Obamacare his first day in office. Following his victory he declared he would convene a special session of Congress in order to “repeal and replace” the healthcare bill.

That did not come to pass, but the political will of President Trump and the Republican Party to destroy the Affordable Care Act did not diminish. Even as it became more popular than ever. Even as the party struggled to come up with an alternative.

The Republican Party had years to develop their own healthcare system, yet seemingly spent that time coming up with new ways to combat Obamacare rather than legislating. The GOP had a very strong political response to the Affordable Care Act, but where was the alternative?

It is here. And it’s not good. As in, nobody likes it. Sparring details of the plan, just let these headlines guide you through the discontent:

  • Reuters: “Conservatives rebel against Trump-backed Republican healthcare plan”
  • New York Times: “G.O.P. Health Bill Faces Revolt from Conservative Forces”
  • Slate: “The Republican Health Care Plan Isn’t Good for Much, Except Cutting Rich Folks’ Taxes”
  • Mother Jones: “Republicans Unveil Their Health Care Plan. It’s a Bloodbath”
  • BBC: “A bumpy 24 hours for Trump-backed health bill”
  • Politico: “Trump moves to assure conservatives on Obamacare replacement plan”
  • Washington Post: “House GOP proposal to replace Obamacare sparks broad backlash”
  • Vox: “The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve”
  • The Atlantic: “The GOP’s Plan Is Basically a $600 Billion Tax Cut for Rich Americans”
  • National Review: “Obamacare Replacement: Republican Plan is Disappointing”
  • The Hill: “Hospitals come out against GOP healthcare bill”
  • Fox News: “Conservatives balk at ObamaCare replacement bill”
  • Breitbart: “Conservatives: Paul Ryan’s Healthcare Plan Replaces Obamacare with Obamacare-lite”

As many news outlets have described, the Republican bill isn’t all that different from the plan which they have railed against. It is too similar and potentially too expensive for many conservatives. The changes the new bill does make would cut coverage for lower-income families and rolls back many health coverage gains made under the Affordable Care Act.

In other words, this new healthcare bill fails to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act which angers many conservative Republicans, yet makes just enough changes to anger Democrats and some moderate Republicans.

The question which comes to mind is, exactly for whom is this healthcare bill? Another question might be, what did the Republican Party do the past seven years?

Politics is not governing. And as the headlines highlight, this isn’t either.

Follow @armchairmidrash on Twitter to get notifications of the latest posts and to continue the conversation.

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