Repeal? Replace? Re-whatever!
So they kept us on the edge of our seats for weeks. Yes, the replacement for the ACA would happen before Congress adjourned for April recess. And yes, everyone would forever after have access to health care…only they wouldn’t.
Then the lobbying and jockeying for votes happened. One side wanted amendments to the replacement which would be more beneficial to senior citizens and those with chronic conditions. The other side wanted to go even further away from any government involvement with people’s health insurance and healthcare.
And this conflict was just between Republicans and…wait for it…Republicans!
The Democrats in Congress were not even consulted about the now defunct American Health Care Act. No one in the ruling party even attempted to reach out to the Democrats for their input. Granted, Democrats put up a united front against the replacement of the ACA, but still a phone call would have been nice. Or even a tweet…
And in the end, the final vote was delayed for a day to give the recalcitrant members of the Republican Party more time to negotiate the changes to Ryancare or Trumpcare or Whatever-you-care-to-call-it Care. And it came to pass that the vote was rescheduled to the next day, a Friday of all days. By afternoon Republican leaders in the House realized that they still did not have the votes to pass their precious healthcare law. And lo, they shrugged and pulled the plug on the vote.
For those who have found the ACA to be a god send this was a good Friday. For others who rue the day the ACA passed it was, “Good grief!”
The President, who has vowed for years in his writings and his insufferable campaign rallies, that every American will have health insurance, no one will get left behind and die on the streets ill and/or bankrupt. It appears that all this time the President has been wanting America to have a…wait for it….single payer system! Too bad he hitched his political fortunes to the GOP elephant who shrieks and bellows it’s mighty trunk at the thought of Americans being entitled (oh, there’s that “E” word again) to affordable healthcare.
In the end the President must have concluded that even HE did not like the plan Paul Ryan and his colleagues offered as a replacement for the ACA. So what the hell! Pull the vote, tell everyone they tried their best, but in the end they could not do it. Then announce we won’t even try to replace the law we hated for seven years. We will just move on to something else.
Only everyone did not try their best. Again, a reach across the aisle might have helped, but…oh, right we already went through that.
Gee it seemed so easy to repeal the ACA when Obama was President. They did it sixty plus times, but could never get the President to sign off on it. It’s that damn replacement part that got them in trouble. It’s not like they didn’t offer half-hearted proposals over the years and it’s not like they had any time to formulate a workable replacement to the ACA.
Oh wait; they had SEVEN YEARS to formulate a workable replacement! So now they are surprised that they built a replacement over the span of mere weeks and not enough people can agree to pass it?
The last minute abandoning of the AHCA was disappointing. The Republicans cheated the American people out of their long-promised climax to their efforts to give the country their version of affordable healthcare.
Now, now fellow liberals, hear me out!
It was disappointing because if the vote had happened then we would know who our adversaries and who are friends are in this fight. Yes, we’ve got statements from many prominent Republicans saying how they WOULD have voted, but since they never got a chance to vote, we will never know for sure who to trust and who to dismiss. It ain’t official until it’s in the Congressional Record.
Now those legislators can honestly go back to the people in their districts and say, “See I didn’t take your healthcare away from you,” or “See, I never got a chance to replace your healthcare with something better.” It’s a win-win for everyone except the American voter.
And since the Republican emphasis has always been on total destruction of affordable healthcare and who cares if we have anything to replace it, the real conversation about improving the law has never taken place. No one ever said the ACA was perfect. It does have flaws which need to be discussed, debated and then negotiated for the common good.
Unfortunately that is not bound to happen in the hyper-partisan, toxic environment inside the Beltway for some time to come. What could happen through all this is perhaps a wakening among the people (Congress, you do remember the people, right?) that the ACA is not perfect, the AHCA is certainly far from perfect, and that America should adopt a…wait for it…single payer system!
Oh dear! The elephant is not happy!
(Thank you for reading. So Trumpers, feeling let down yet?)