Since the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) passed, the GOP has essentially been saying the same thing, over and over, like a broken record.
Repeal and Replace
On Wednesday of this week, moderate and conservative Republicans revived discussions and came to a tentative agreement on draft language after the first attempt failed to rally enough support to even attempt an official vote on the floor. The political damage to Republicans if they fail to do anything with the healthcare bill would ripple through 2018 and beyond and has the potential to see a shift in power in Congress back to the Democrats, or, dare I say, to a third-party. One question stands out in my mind above all others in regards to the healthcare bill: Why do this again? It was clear that support for a weeks long effort was mediocre, at best, and was doomed to fail from the start. ACA was worked and vetted for more than a year before it was passed and I’m disappointed with Republicans in their apparent belief that the American people are dumb or uninformed enough to think that an effort of a short few weeks was appropriate to iron out all the details.
To say that the first attempt went up in flames that would rival the MOAB dropped in Afghanistan is an understatement. Paul Ryan failed to demonstrate he can manage his caucus, Donald Trump didn’t inspire votes, and the viability of the rest of the GOP agenda is at risk of failing in similar fashion. The GOP rally chant or “repeal and replace” used for the last several years is no longer holding any air, the boat is sinking, and the GOP doesn’t have any air left. Since the failure, Obamacare has grown more popular further narrowing any margin for victory that may have existed previously. It seems that GOP Republicans are losing their minds repeatedly returning to the healthcare subject at the risk of suffering humiliations, reminding voters of their inability to deliver on promises made that for most, won them the campaign contest.
The Democrats are sitting back and watching this train wreck happen in front of them while eating some popcorn. The primary political concern is within the Republican party, not from outside. When virtually all elected Republicans in Congress pledged to “repeal and replace” during their campaigns, they put a lot on the line. Giving up or abandoning it after one attempt would alienate their core voters in their home states. The GOP is backed into a corner and almost need to keep moving forward with a healthcare bill no matter what the consequences are to them or their party. Continuing to do so, however, will most likely continue to fracture the Republicans further, within their own party, until the whole party just collapses in monumental fashion.
In the end, the common American is the one that is screwed over, as is the standard outcome recently. Obamacare becomes impossibly expensive, just stops working all together or collapses completely. The Republicans keep “talking” about repeal and replace but never get out of their own way to achieve any real progress. The most likely outcome is that no one does anything on either side, Americans lose their healthcare coverage completely and Americans across the country go into public outcry. No matter how this healthcare issue plays out, the Republican party is almost past the point of no return in terms of their party disintegrating out from under their feet.