Republicans in Congress spent over six years and millions of taxpayer dollars trying to repeal Obamacare and failed miserably. Now, with total control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, the GOP is caught between their years of lies about the Affordable Care Act and reality.
Republicans promised to repeal a law that is working pretty well, and replace it with nothing comparable. But they are stuck in a pool of quicksand of their own making, and are about to throw the economy and health insurance system into chaos because they want to repeal Obamacare without a plan to replace the Healthcare law.
On Thursday, Bloomberg detailed the great Republican Obamacare repeal dilemma:
“Republicans are debating how long to delay implementing the repeal. Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan. House conservatives want a two-year fuse for the repeal. Republican leaders prefer at least three years, and there has been discussion of putting it off until after the 2020 elections, staffers said.”
Republicans criticized Obamacare for years and promised their supporters that life would immediately improve once the healthcare law was gone. If this is the case, why are Republicans waiting for years to implement the reform? The answer is very simple. Many of their criticisms of the health care law were based on ideology, not fact.
The Republican Party has claimed that Obamacare is a job killer. As Politico reports, however, the ACA has been the exact opposite. Obamacare has been a jobs program for the healthcare sector, “The private sector has grown every single month since the ACA passed in March 2010, a number that Obama often touts when he defends his signature law. And many of those jobs are, literally, in health care. More than 1 in 9 employed Americans now gets a paycheck directly from the health care industry, and that’s not counting the millions more who work in associated fields, like tech companies that specialize in health care services or the consulting firms that gorge on the sector’s inefficiency.”
And when it comes to Insurance premiums, as The New York Times reports, Obamacare hasn’t caused insurance rates to increase. “If you get a subsidy, and you’re willing to switch plans, you won’t have to pay these big increases. More than 80 percent of Obamacare customers get subsidies that help them pay the cost of their premiums. Those people do not pay the full cost of insurance out of their pockets, and they will not feel the full brunt of these increases, as long as there is a less expensive plan available in their market and they are willing to switch.” The premium increase only applied to the ten million who got their insurance through the exchange and the 7 million people who bought their own insurance outside of the exchange, and subsidies offset the premium increase for 80% of people in the exchange.
In short, repeal is a lose/lose situation for Republicans. Either they end the law and cause chaos, or they keep the law and enact a lie that will create years of uncertainty.
The bill has come due for years of Obamacare lies, and Republicans will pay a heavy price no matter the course of action that they pursue.