The Republican train to repeal and replace ObamaCare has gone off the tracks. The result will be a healthcare system in wreckage.
For seven years the GOP has talked about repeal and replacement of the failing ObamaCare system but when given the chance to make historic improvements, they flinched. Too many cooks spoiled the soup.
Politics is a team sport and Republicans have not learned this truth. Democrats may have bad ideas but they stick together. There are too many big egos in the Republican Party who insist on getting attention from the media by opposing their party’s reforms.
Who’s to blame?
Republican defectors include Senators Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and the irascible Senator John McCain (Arizona). Other defectors include Republican Governors John Kasich (Ohio) and Brian Sandoval (Nevada) who heavily influenced their respective senators, Rob Portman and Dean Heller. Others who contributed to defeat include Senators Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Mike Lee (Utah). All of these should be held accountable by the voters in future elections.
President Trump should be given at least some of the blame for failing to sell his healthcare reform on the stump. His “tweets” and White House photo ops were insufficient to sell his Republican Congressional leaders or the public on the importance of reform.
None of this has changed the fact that ObamaCare is rapidly failing. The problem is most people get their health insurance from their employer (160 million) and don’t see the impact rising premiums have on their paycheck. The employer absorbs the rising costs but wages have to stagnate to accommodate the overhead increases.
Those in the individual market see those rising premium costs unless they receive generous subsidies from the government. But even they experience the rising deductibles that now average $6000 for individuals and $12,000 for families. These numbers will undoubtedly increase when the 2018 rates become known.
Republicans will now be forced to reach across the aisle to get Democratic support for any improvements. While this makes sense since bipartisan support makes for better policies, the Democratic position will lead us closer than ever to single-payer healthcare. This was their real intent in 2009 at the beginning of the Obama healthcare reform legislation, but they knew it was politically impossible then to get widespread support. Today that may be possible.
What will single-payer healthcare mean?
I have written extensively on this subject in the past and a review of this blog’s archives will be instructive.(Single-Payer v. Market Oriented Health Care) Single-payer healthcare is a variant of socialized medicine, which puts the government in full control of healthcare spending and treatment decisions. Not only will you lose the freedom to choose your doctor and your treatment, you will have to wait longer to receive any medical care – and then only what the government chooses to allow.
Republicans will be blamed for this failure but it should be remembered that not one Democrat stood up to help the Republicans save the country from the failures of ObamaCare. There is plenty of blame to go around.