If you were opposed to the Obamacare replacement bill, the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), it was probably because it was hardly the Obamacare replacement we were promised.
Congressional Republicans had no problem holding countless votes to repeal all of or parts of Obamacare when Barack Obama was president, yet all of a sudden there’s a hold up, despite the promise there would be an Obamacare repeal bill on Trump’s desk his first week in office.
Unfortunately, the AHCA turned out to be nothing more than Obamacare-lite. Daniel Horowitz summed up the problem in Conservative Review, that “the sum of the GOP plan is to take everything that is bad about Obamacare — taxes, regulations, subsidies, and mandates — and leave the critical structure in place, albeit with some policy tweaks around the edges.”
Heck, even the acronyms for this Obamacare replacement (officially the Affordable Care Act, or ACA), was only a single letter off the replacement.(AHCA – big deal)
But here’s the worst part of all: Most of the opposition to the bill wasn’t for being too liberal. It was for being too CONSERVATIVE.
As Unbiased America noted:
The vast majority of opposition to Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill was from representatives who thought it was too conservative (i.e. it went too far in reducing subsidies), including 193 Democrats and at least 6 Republicans. Only about 18 representatives, all Republican, opposed it because it was too liberal (i.e. it didn’t go far enough in repealing Obamacare).
That should tell you all you need to know about the unfortunate direction we are now headed with healthcare in America. It means that when Obamacare fails, its replacement bill will have to be even MORE liberal than Ryan’s bill in order to get the votes needed to pass.
Of course, it’s expected that Democrats would claim anything Republicans put forward is too conservative, but it’s shocking only 18 Republicans opposed the bill on the grounds that it was too liberal.
Still, we can be thankful for those in the House Freedom Caucus for blocking the bill on the grounds that it was an Obamacare revision, not a replacement. Whether or not an actual Obamacare repeal and replacement gets passed in the future lies in their hands.
Congressional Republicans need to remember the train wreck that is Obamacare is why they enjoy a majority. If they don’t do anything meaningful soon, they won’t be the case in 2018.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]