Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Donald Trump and most Republicans in Congress have campaigned to repeal Obamacare (PPACA) and are now finally able to make it happen with control of both legislative branches of government as well as the Presidency. They have endured six long years of Obamacare (PPACA) healthcare reform advancements in spite of every effort to repeal the law. They have refused to work with Democrats and have stymied all efforts to increase affordability, make health insurance universal, improve quality of care, and safeguard patient protection efforts. Because Americans now have a taste for the healthcare benefits that Obamacare (PPACA) reform has provided, simple repeal cannot erase the last six years of gains. Therefore, in order for Republicans to erase the healthcare benefits Americans now expect, they must completely destroy Obamacare (PPACA) and its legacy!
Repealing Obamacare (PPACA) forces Republicans to craft a “beautiful” healthcare reform law replacement that delivers at least the “appearance” of greater affordability, increased patient protections, and improved quality of care measures Americans now expect. If they do not, then the Republicans will be pressured by the electorate to keep Obamacare (PPACA) and do what they should have done over the past six years; namely, improve it.
As the 115th United States Congress meets and plans for its first legislative actions, the Republicans are finding out that complaining about Obamacare (PPACA) for six years was a lot easier than delivering a completely new reform law that has the potential to deliver “better” healthcare reform than the law it will replace. Since the election, it has become painfully obvious to the American public that no workable replacement that meets these criteria exists. Because no Republican healthcare reform law is on offer after six years of preparation time, I can only conclude that a true replacement was never a high priority to the Republican party while to destroy Obamacare (PPACA) and its legacy was.
Republicans Destroy Obamacare and Blame the Democrats
So what are the Republicans to do? How are they supposed to destroy Obamacare and its legacy and not suffer the wrath of individual Americans who want healthcare reform that delivers affordability and quality care? In anticipation of any post-repeal political fallout, Republicans have cranked up the spin machine hoping to convince Americans (and perhaps themselves) that Democrats are to blame when people lose the healthcare reform benefits Obamacare (PPACA) delivered.
Let me explain how this is supposed to work. Politicians have learned that if they repeat a catchy phrase or sentence often enough (even if it is not true), then the American public will think it is true. The sentence in question is “Obamacare is a complete failure”. They also want the electorate to believe that the mere existence of this “inherited” law is an abomination and any blame for the post-repeal fallout should be attached to the Democrats who created it. Continuing with this line of thinking… If Americans believe that “Obamacare is a complete failure”, then what does our nation have to lose if the Republicans repeal it? One might even say it is the Republicans’ duty to the American people to remove this blot from history. This argument is illogical spin and the catchy phrase upon which it rests, complete trumpery.
The problem with the catchy statement “Obamacare is a complete failure” is that it is simply NOT TRUE. Obamacare (PPACA) statistics tell a different story. Given that so many groups oppose healthcare cost containment (i.e., affordability measures), improvements in quality of care (i.e., interference with the doctor/patient relationship), and universal health benefits, it is amazing that Obamacare (PPACA) has made the progress it has in six short years.
It is troubling to me that the Republicans are spending so much time desperately trying to shift blame for post-repeal fallout rather than working to deliver a “beautiful” healthcare system that delivers affordable, quality health care. The louder and more widespread the Republicans’ efforts to shift blame for any post-repeal fallout, the greater my unease grows that the fallout will be worse than I can possibly imagine.
President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets add greatly to my unease. While I think that President-elect Donald Trump says more than he should on Twitter, his blatant call to Republicans to make sure Democrats “own” all blame for the fallout that will result as the Republicans start destroying Obamacare (PPACA) piece-by-piece. We all know that the political parties make use of spin, but when it comes out of our supreme leader-to-be personally, it is hard for me to keep pretending that our elected officials are acting for the good of the American people first and foremost.
How Republicans Will Destroy Obamacare (PPACA)
Any “failure” of Obamacare (PPACA) in 2017 will be the direct result of actions undertaken by the new President and Congress! Repealing Obamacare (PPACA) is one action that will destroy Obamacare (PPACA). Repealing Obamacare without an immediate, workable replacement is another way. Either way, Americans will end up with decreased healthcare affordability, decreased quality of care, and fewer patient protections.
Because many of the reforms in Obamacare (PPACA) are initiated “at the discretion of the Secretary”, Tom Price, the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will be able to dismantle many Obamacare (PPACA) quality of care and affordability innovations that originated within HHS. Borrowing the description coined by Philip Klein in the American Spectator, the Empress in power has become the Emperor! This regulatory power to gut major Obamacare (PPACA) reforms without a formal repeal is frightening.
Obamacare (PPACA) is a collection of parts that are intertwined and synergistic. When separated into parts, they do not stand alone. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While some Americans think Obamacare (PPACA) only affected those who were previously uninsured, the law is in fact the foundation for affordable, quality health care for ALL Americans. Many affordability, patient protection, and quality measure must first be applied to limited marketplaces largely because of resistance from those in healthcare who have income and profits to lose. Eventually the reforms make their way to the entire healthcare system. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, employees who get employer-subsidized health insurance, and people who fall in the non-group health insurance market all benefit from the healthcare measures in Obamacare (PPACA). As Republicans take aim and dismantle the various parts of Obamacare (PPACA), the overall healthcare benefits of Obamacare (PPACA) will disappear and the failure that Republicans hope for will become reality.
The actions of the government in bringing about the failure of Obamacare (PPACA) tell only half of the story. Once the private, for-profit healthcare businesses that make up our healthcare system are sure that Obamacare (PPACA) is doomed, their reactions will be swift. It doesn’t take a psychic to guess at the fallout. Immediate repeal of Obamacare (PPACA) or even the threat of repeal will embolden all for-profit healthcare businesses to rid themselves of the costs associated with patient protection, quality improvements, and any regulations that reduce income and profits. They will have to be “bribed” with taxpayer money to do otherwise.
What Should Americans Do?
As the Republicans move to destroy Obamacare (PPACA) and its legacy, it is important that individual Americans make clear to their elected officials that they will not stand for healthcare reform that delivers less affordability, fewer patient protection, and lower quality of care initiatives. The promised “beautiful” healthcare system must be “beautiful” to the individual Americans who voted in the President and members of Congress. We do not want to go back to a healthcare system looks out for the income and profits of the private businesses that make up our healthcare industry OVER the social and economic interests of the individual American.