For years, Republicans have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Now that they control Congress and The White Hose, you’d think they are thrilled to finally execute their Machiavellian plan. Well, not so fast.
As it turns out, the GOP is freaking out about the “implications” and the “consequences” of them doing something other than pretending to pretend to give a crap about their Republican base.
Republican lawmakers aired grave concerns about their party’s quick push to repeal the Affordable Care Act inside a closed-door meeting in Philadelphia Thursday, according to a secret recording of the session obtained by The Washington Post.
The recording reveals a GOP that appears to be terrified about how to make good on a long-standing promise to get rid of Obamacare without blowing the entire system up.
“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal, said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, tock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.”
As stated by The Washington Post, the recordings of the closed sessions were sent late Thursday to the paper and several other news outlets from an anonymous email address.
The remarks of all lawmakers quoted in this story were confirmed by their offices or by the lawmakers themselves, according to the report.
Of particular concern to some Republican lawmakers was a plan to use the budget reconciliation process — which requires only a simple majority vote — to repeal the existing law, while still needing a filibuster-proof vote of 60 in the Senate to enact a replacement.
“The fact is, we cannot repeal Obamacare through reconciliation,” McClintock said. “We need to understand exactly: What does that reconciliation market look like? And I haven’t heard the answer yet.”
Several important policy areas appeared unsettled. While the chairmen of key committees sketched out various proposals, they did not have a clear plan for how to keep markets viable while requiring insurers to cover everyone who seeks insurance.
At one point a congressman who co-founded a community health clinic in Baton Rouge to serve the uninsured, asked the panelists a “simple question”:
“Will states have the ability to maintain the expanded Medicaid rolls provided for under the ACA, which now provide coverage for more than 10 million Americans, and can other states do similar expansions?”
“These are decisions we haven’t made yet,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.).
Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) worried that the plans under GOP consideration could eviscerate coverage for the roughly 20 million Americans now covered through state and federal marketplaces and the law’s Medicaid expansion: “We’re telling those people that we’re not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them.”
Republicans are also still wrestling with whether Obamacare’s taxes can be immediately repealed, a priority for many conservatives, or whether that revenue will be needed to fund a transition period.
And there seems to be little consensus on whether to pursue a major overhaul of Medicaid —converting it from an open-ended entitlement that costs federal and state governments $500 billion a year to a fixed block grant.
Trump and his top aides, including counselor Kellyanne Conway, have publicly endorsed that idea. But doing so would mean that some low-income Americans would not be automatically covered by a program that currently covers 70 million Americans.
Go ahead, Republicans, repeal Obamacare. We dare you to.