At this juncture, it is abundantly clear that the repeal and replace of Obamacare is not happening in 2017. Even a cursory review of the current trajectory of Obamacare shows that absent real and meaningful corrective action, Obamacare will continue having increasing negative consequences on the general population. This is something upon which both sides of the aisle have readily agreed.
The purpose of this post is not necessarily about the politics of Republicans versus Democrats, but rather to posit that the issues of healthcare which affect virtually every American are not necessarily being viewed through that lens. It has turned into a turf war between Democrats and Republicans as well as internecine chaos within the Republican Party and a unified Democratic Party all too eager to stand by and watch the Republican Party implode. Somehow, the fate of the citizenry and their respective healthcare does not seem to really factor into the decision-making process.
With respect to the Republicans, for seven years they criticized Obamacare and were very clear that if they got control of Congress, namely, the Senate and the House, they would rectify all that is wrong with Obamacare. As it happens, their party not only got control of Congress, but they came to the “let’s change Obamacare party” with a PLUS ONE – the executive branch with the election of Donald J. Trump.
What happened, however, was that even with their +1, the Republicans cannot get their majority in the Senate to agree on something they had seven years of promises on which to work. In fact, the tabulations were now a -3 calculation. Any three senators against any idea for repeal, replace, repair or any other change to our health care system, scuttles the Republican congressional majority.
One senator would not approve any change because it did not change enough; others opposed any change because it changed too much. Without being glib, it reminds me of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One bears porridge was too cold, and one bears porridge was too hot. It is very possible that when the midterms come, members of the Senate and Congress like Goldilocks, will “run all the way home.”
With respect to the Democrats, they readily admit that Obamacare is flawed and needs to be readjusted, rejiggered, fine-tuned or some other semantic. It is interesting, however, that among all of the 48 Democratic senators, not one is ready to come forward and say “count me in with any idea floated by the Republicans, for the sake of the American people.” Democrats are united in their interest to see the Republican Party implode, the ability to take control of Congress, and ignore the pain that Americans will be enduring in the interim.
I do not know what the right answer is, but I do know that it appears that our government needs more repair than Obamacare. The problems are deeper and the ramifications are felt by virtually every American every day.
Healthcare costs are soaring, insurers don’t know how to price their policies, premiums are skyrocketing depending on where you live, and Congress is busy with who wins the race – the donkey or the elephant.