From the Club for Growth, in response to Speaker Ryan pulling the American Health Care Act yesterday:
“There is a way forward: Take the three phases of President Trump’s agenda and put them all into a new House bill,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “Unite Obamacare repeal with the repeal of Obamcare regulations, and add in the free-market, cost-saving reforms that the president campaigned on, including interstate competition. Give the House a straight up-or-down vote on THAT measure. Republican voters will rally behind it with overwhelming support, and the Senate can take it up and address its rules.”
“President Trump was elected because millions of Americans wanted a full repeal of Obamacare, followed by free-market health care reform that would give them competition, choice, and lower prices. This bill became a Frankenstein meant to appease the insurance industry and Republicans who really want to keep parts of Obamacare. Now’s the time to do it right.”
The problem with this “way forward” is that it is obviously subject to a filibuster and so has no realistic chance of passing the Senate.
And the problem is that Obamacare is imploding, despite what its supporters, including the decidedly partisan CBO, say:
In the real world, the Obamacare exchanges are in crisis, millions of uninsured people willingly pay or avoid IRS penalties, and consumers struggle with rising premiums and cost-sharing requirements. But for CBO, Obamacare is a sea of tranquility. … Since [September, 2016], the Obamacare individual exchanges have begun to implode. Fewer people signed up during the open-enrollment period this year than last, due in part to premium hikes that averaged 25 percent. Other insurance companies didn’t bother raising prices; they fled the exchanges. By January, 1,000 counties were down to their last insurer. Five entire states have just a single company selling through the exchanges. A rational observer might worry that the exchanges were on the brink of doom. Not CBO. Its analysts believe that Obamacare is on the cusp of a miracle. The number of nonelderly uninsured not only will drop this year but hold steady in 2018, according to CBO, even though millions could find themselves without an insurer in their exchanges.
And the problem is that as Obamacare implodes, the mainstream media will put President Trump and the GOP under inexorable pressure to “fix Obamacare” by “working with” the Democrats. That is, the mainstream media will pin the blame for unaffordable premiums and lack of insurers not on the Democrats for passing Obamacare, but on the GOP for not working with the Democrats to fix Obamacare.
The “fixes” would likely take the form of increasing subsidies to offset the increasing cost of premiums and bailing out insurance companies. These fixes would move us further away from repealing and replacing Obamacare and toward a European-style “single-payer,” that is government-run healthcare system. In return, the GOP will get a pittance of what they could have gotten under the AHCA.
And the GOP will cave in the face of story after story after story from the mainstream press about this family no longer able to afford insurance and that county facing the prospect of having no insurance carrier.