Seriously, this is a skill. For eight years, the Republicans of Congress have bitched and moaned that Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) needs to be repealed and replaced. They have droned on and on about this topic, listing it as a primary priority.
Well, they’re finally in a position where they can repeal it, with Republican majorities in the Senate, House of Representatives, and the White House. Repealing is probably all they want to do, in reality. They just want it to go away.
But they can’t. And they know that. The ACA has been around for a number of years now, and it turns out that Americans like having access to affordable health care. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not. What we need to do is bite the bullet and finally take on socialized medicine, like most other industrialized nations have done before us. However, doing so will really piss off the GOP, so don’t hold your breath that this will occur any time in the near future.
This leaves Congressional Republicans in an uncomfortable position. They’ve preached so much on the evils of Obamacare that I don’t think it really occurred to them that they’d have to actually find an alternative (and viable) solution if they are to ever truly rid themselves of it. Hence the mad dash to get a bill up and running. They didn’t actually have anything ready.
The House passed a shit-bill last month which even they knew was terrible. Not only would it cut funding for medicaid but it would render health care unaffordable by millions of Americans.
Luckily, the Senate took that crap-sandwich which was the American Health Care Act and created their own version. They received quite the legitimate criticism for this bill, as they speedtracked the bill and kept it strictly behind closed doors. Mitch McConnell was the lead driving force behind the AHCA, and its content was finally released last Thursday.
Whew, boy. We thought the House’s version was cold and heartless. Not only does this bill cut even more spending on medicaid and not force insurance companies to offer policies to individuals with preexisting conditions, but it defunds Planned Parenthood. We’ve mentioned several times on this website the success Planned Parenthood has had with basic needs like cancer screenings and birth control for the poor. It has actually lowered the abortion rate since abortion was legalized in the 1970s. Millions of people stand to lose coverage if this bill goes through. Those people left with insurance will face higher premiums for insurance that offers less coverage. Rates will raise significantly for the poor and the elderly. So, yeah. There’s that.
So, who wins in this bill? It turns out that there are significant tax breaks for the significantly wealthy. We are trading the lives of millions for the pocket change of a few.
Talk about a step in the right direction.