Commentary

When will the Right realize it has lost the healthcare debate?

At some point, you’ve got to think that congressional Republicans will finally understand that they’ve done enough damage to the country with their repeated failed efforts to hose up the nation’s flawed but improved healthcare system. Unfortunately, we still may not be there yet. There’s even talk of simply repealing the Affordable Care Act without replacing it all given that Republicans can’t come up with anything better.

But make no mistake, a “repeal without replace” bill is probably the worst possible result. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained last night:

“By reviving a version of a vetoed 2015 bill to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pursuing legislation that would cost even more people their health coverage, raise premiums in the individual market even higher, and inflict even more damage to insurance markets than the ACA repeal bill that just died in the Senate because it lacked the votes to pass….

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) January analysis found that a repeal-without-replace bill would cause 32 million people to lose coverage, double premiums in the individual market, and cause the individual market to virtually collapse”

Meanwhile a new editorial in the Charlotte Observer rightfully blasts Republicans for their serial dishonesty and failure to recognize defeat on the matter. This is from “The last big Republican lie on health care”:

“Don’t believe Republicans about Obamacare, because the GOP has been wrong again and again – often intentionally so – about the Affordable Care Act. It’s not dying, as lawmakers insist. It’s stabilizing, and it could be made stronger if Republicans worked with Democrats to fix its flaws.

Don’t believe Republicans about their health care solutions, because they have too often misled Americans about what their legislation would accomplish. That includes the White House encouraging Americans to ignore dire estimates about Republican bills from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. That also includes McConnell secretly telling moderate Republicans last week that Medicaid cuts in the Senate health care bill would never actually happen.

Don’t believe Republicans about just letting Obamacare die because being inattentive – or worse, sabotaging the bill by cutting off subsidies to insurers – could result in a health care (and political) disaster. Insurers want stability; without it, premiums will spike and millions will lose coverage.

Most of all, don’t believe Republicans about finding a viable replacement for the Affordable Care Act, because if the last six months have shown us anything, it’s that the party in power is incapable of doing so.”

The editorial warns that GOP leaders risk making their party extinct if they blindly plow ahead with repeal. It ends with this plea:

“Repeal or not repeal, they’ve lost on Obamacare. It’s time to stop lying – to themselves.”

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