At some point, you’ve got to think that Donald Trump and the members of Congress driving the ACA repeal bus are going to stop and ask themselves “what in the heck are we doing?” The latest numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (remember, CBO serves a Congress that has been Republican-controlled for some time) provide a remarkable and dire warning signal. This is from the an article in yesterday’s New York Times:
“Repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. A repeal could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, the report said, while causing individual insurance premiums to double over that time.
The budget office analyzed the probable effects of a Republican bill repealing the law like the one approved in Congress, but vetoed early last year by President Obama.
The C.B.O. report, released after a weekend of protests against repeal, will only add to the headaches that President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans face in their rush to gut President Obama’s signature domestic achievement as they try to replace it with a health insurance law more to their liking.”
Republicans panned the report and claimed that they plan to replace the ACA, but as the article also notes:
“But that replacement bill has yet to be produced, and existing Republican plans, such as one drafted by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, now selected to be Mr. Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, have yet to be scrutinized by the budget office, the official scorekeeper of legislation.”
In other words, on one of the most important and complex — if not, the most important and complex — domestic policy issues in 21st Century America, the GOP’s current plan is to run the risk of endangering the lives of millions of citizens, while offering up nothing more than vague promise to do something else that they can’t explain and no one understands.
Come to think of it, that sounds pretty much like the Trump approach on just about every issue at this point. What could possibly go wrong?