Obamacare will be repealed and replaced, so in the words of Aaron Rogers…we all need to chill out a bit.
Over the last few days, I’ve seen a chorus of conflicting headlines about the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. One day it’s on track and the next day nothing will happen until 2018. One article says it will be “repaired” and another says some taxes will stay in place.
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Yesterday, conservative commentator Ann Coulter made some observations that are legitimate if you’re a conservative, but I think she’s leaping a little too quickly.
Her chief complaint is that President Trump is moving to repeal and replace Obamacare and the Congress has done nothing since January 21st. For six years the Republicans in Congress have railed against Obamacare and right now they have nothing to replace it with and no excuses.
I’ve heard other conservatives interviewed on TV and radio who echo the same concerns and sentiments.
Let’s back up for just a moment and look at reality.
It’s only been a month since the inauguration and the Federal government was not designed to move quickly by the framers (as I shared earlier this week in my article titled “Why Gridlock is Good for You and America).
However, the President has already taken action on the economy, undoing many of Obama’s regulations (which you can see in this post), and in regards to Obamacare it was just announced on Wednesday that the IRS is following through on his Executive Order and is not enforcing the question about your healthcare on tax forms. (Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won’t Reject Tax Returns That Don’t Answer Health Insurance Question)
Allow me to make a case as to why repeal and replace of Obamacare will get done this year.
#1 – Obamacare is Collapsing as Predicted
Furthermore, with deductibles as high $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 or more, why would anyone waste their money on a policy unless they have a pre-existing condition that would necessitate the need?.
Also, the exchanges continue to crash. On Wednesday, Aetna’s CEO said the marketplace is in a death spiral and is nearing failure.
In addition, Humana has said they are pulling out of the exchanges for 2018. They cover approximately 150,000 people on exchanges in 11 states.
Now that Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight, as predicted would happen from the start, there is not a choice. It has to be repealed and replaced.
#2 – Republicans in Congress Campaigned on Repeal and Replace Since 2010
The Republicans in Congress are feeling the pressure. Since Obamacare passed on a partisan line vote in 2009, they have been running on repeal and replace.
The voters gave them the House of Representatives in 2010.
The Republicans said they couldn’t do anything without the Senate.
In 2014 the voters gave them the Senate.
Then they said they couldn’t repeal and replace Obamacare without the White House.
They now have all three and are out of excuses.
The Republicans know if they don’t deliver to their voters they will be in deep trouble. However, the process won’t be without challenges as they don’t have a super majority in the Senate to block a filibuster or other procedural means the Democrats may employ to stop the effort.
On February 10th, the Washington Examiner had an article that explains the process and means that they may have to follow in order to fulfill their campaign promise.
#3 – The President is Pushing Congress by Taking Action and Leading
On the campaign trail, then Candidate Trump said that repeal and replace was one of the first things to do on his list if he were elected to the White House.
He is doing his part to deliver on his campaign promises.
On day one of his Presidency, he signed an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as well as other agencies, to interpret regulations as loosely as allowed to minimize the financial burden on individuals, insurers, health care providers and others.
As I shared above, the IRS is already following suit and loosening the reporting requirement.
This brings us to the next point…
#4 – The President’s New HHS Secretary was Just Confirmed
This is important because Secretary Price will ultimately be leading the process to repeal and replace Obamacare.
As a Congressman, then Representative Price chaired the House Budget Committee and has long criticized ObamaCare as a threat to quality and affordable health care. In 2015, he introduced the “Empowering Patients First Act”. His plan has been touted as a well-respected replacement of Obamacare.
What are Some Challenges to Repeal and Replace Obamacare?
The biggest challenge facing Republicans is “Republicans.” Will they have the strength and spine to see it through after all of the promises made to their voters?
I believe they do.
However, there are two main contributors to the political problem the Republicans face.
First, the Democrats are playing the victim card hard and doing all they can to give the appearance that the big, mean, Republican machine is out to hurt the little guy by stripping 20 million people of their health insurance.
On ABC’s This Week, Katrina vanden Heuvel went on a scathing and hysterical attack of repeal and replace.
“The very communities which elected Trump in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, are ravaged by an opioid epidemic, they will be the first hit. Lives will be lost! Lives are in the balance!”
Nancy Pelosi (D- CA), can’t help herself either. It makes sense, she was Speaker of the House when Obamacare was enacted.
She accused Republicans of “feeding their ideological obsession with repealing the ACA and dismantling the health and economic security of hard-working families… For six years, they have had a chance to propose an alternative. We see nothing.” (Read more or what Nancy Pelosi said in the Washington Post)
Adding insult to injury, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on January 15th, “If they want to rip healthcare away from 22 million Americans, they don’t get to blame us for not cobbling something back together.”
Additionally, Schumer has stated that Democrats will not help the Republican’s replace the Affordable Care Act if they repeal it.
For certain, some of these claims have put Republicans on the defensive.
However, Republican’s have said that if the law is replaced it will not affect current healthcare policies.
So, is this just a scare tactic on the Democrats part to exert pressure on Republicans?
Protesters Showing up at Town Hall Meetings
Second, there have been some town hall meetings hijacked by liberal protesters. Some have said it’s the rise of the liberal tea party. I’m deeply skeptical and may talk more about why another time.
Most notably, a week ago, protestors showed up at Representative Jason Chaffetz’s town hall in Utah.
Most of the protesters appeared to be unhappy liberals who don’t approve of the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
While Representative Chaffetz was unmoved from his position on the need to repeal and replace, the question remains… will Republicans back down or seek to modify the law if they feel too much pressure from the public?
Never mind that they were voted in by the voters to repeal and replace Obamacare and that conservatives have taken over two-thirds of the statehouses and own the overwhelming majority of the governorships.
With that as perspective, it would be wise for them to heed the will of their voters.
What’s the Reality? Will Obamacare be Replaced?
Now that the administration has the HHS Secretary in place, they can begin working with Congress to dismantle the law bit-by-bit while they prepare the replacement.
This morning, President Trump Tweeted:
Despite the long delays by the Democrats in finally approving Dr. Tom Price, the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare is moving fast!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Yesterday, Paul Ryan said they will introduce the Obamacare repeal and replace bill next week when they return from the President’s Day break.
To all of you who have worried, it’s time to relax.
It’s going to get done and the long national nightmare known as Obamacare will soon come to an end.
What do you think?
Leave a comment below and let’s chat.