At long last, the GOP Congress and Trump have decided not to repeal Obamacare and to let it die on its own. I said a few months ago that this was the approach I favored and it seems that I have gotten my wish.  It’s just too bad that they’re only doing this because they first idiotically did the part that I said would be stupid to do.  They did it so hard too.

Allowing Obamacare to fail on its own is now the best, if not only, strategy for Republicans in Congress.  Think about it.

Trump has virtually eliminated the individual mandate by executive order.  If the IRS has to give waivers to anyone who doesn’t want health insurance and doesn’t want to pay the tax, the whole scheme is bound to collapse.  Obamacare can’t survive.  It’s impossible.

So now, as the costs continue to soar, providers pull out of markets, and the situation worsens, the Republicans will do what they’ve been doing really well for the past 7 years: complain about how much Obamacare sucks without doing anything about it.  This hasn’t been a bad thing for Republicans.  They just win more and more elections because of Obamacare.

Unfortunately, all they’re doing is winning elections, for now.  They don’t seem to want to do anything with that power, especially when it comes to keeping their promises to repeal that one law that they said they would, but I suppose it’s better to be the majority do-nothing party instead of the minority one.  Republicans now get one more election cycle in 2018 to run against Obamacare and perversely, that’s a winning issue that they can use to hold their majority so they can continue not repealing Obamacare for two more years.

This doesn’t mean that I think Ryan and McConnell are carrying out some brilliant master plan.  They’re not.  They really tried to get something to pass that they thought could strike a balance between the parts of Obamacare that are “popular but not conservative” and “conservative but not popular”.  What they put together made nobody happy and in the end, it died in the Senate.

Repealing Obamacare on Day 1 and then demanding Democratic support on bipartisan legislation for protecting the uninsurable and maintaining some of Obamacare’s other provisions would have been smarter.  They’d have kept their promise to their voters and forced the Democrats to become part of the solution.  If the Democrats obstructed, the Republicans could have run against them for it.  Instead, the Republicans improbably managed to obstruct themselves.

So is this a defeat for the GOP and Trump?  Yes.  They have been humiliated by their failure to accomplish anything despite a Republican majority in both houses and a Republican president in the White House.  It was totally self-inflicted too.  For that, Democrats should sit back, relax, and laugh.  Congratulations, you guys won something after a brutal 8 months.

Just because the GOP lost (against themselves) doesn’t mean it’s over though.  The Republicans, Trump in particular, will make sure every single milestone toward Obamacare’s collapse is loudly noted.  They’ll demand a bigger majority in the Senate (and there are a lot of vulnerable Democrats) and work hard to hold the House on the threat that Nancy Pelosi will get to write another health care bill if the Democrats win the majority there.

Will it work?  I don’t know.  In a just and sensible America, it wouldn’t work.  But that’s all there is for the GOP Congress to do now.  Nothing.  The best they can do now is nothing.  This might work out, since nothing is what they like doing and sitting there doing nothing is really hard to screw up.

3 comments

  1. If this is the issue they’ve decided to gamble on I don’t see how it’s as smart as you’re making it appear. 20 percent of Americans, regardless of political stripe are on some form of Medicare. Countless others rely on the subsidy Obamacare provided to nurture business.

    Love it or hate it, many townships most probably only have the medical industry to offer as employment options, and lets say for shits and giggles 100 percent of the economy there are medical services (to keep it simple). Just the mere onset of trump’s pedantic executive order has reduced the market share by 1/5. Not guaranteeing payments the insurers rely on to subsidize the poor will force the medical providers to reject those forms of insurance early, further decimating that economy. The inevitable rise in the cost of the rest of the available plans without any form of consumer protection will then force more (particularly the you g) out of the market entirely.

    Now we go back to the old way where people do not get early treatment and are encouraged to go to the highest priced service in the medical industry, the emergency room, registering as Jane does to avoid paying for treatment. Since it is THE LAW to treat Furst and then ask for payment, the American tax payer will be picking up the bill, again, at a premium for otherwise mundane treatments in other settings.

    Yay trump! Yay republicans!

    Lastly, the one provision of Obamacare that has not been eliminated, the only true call to action by republicans eager to show their constituencies they care nothing about them is the tax penalty on the rich that funds Obamacare. So it’s STILL getting funding. The executive order repealing the tax penalty was only there to encourage people to get healthcare. Those already receiving Obamacare still will have it funded and will benefit from a reduction of people accessing the system.

    What I am almost 100 percent sure is going to happen now is across the board voluntary registration, egged on by activist government employees and people aware through the constant attention of republicans and angry oligarchs eager to repeal the law, that Obamacare is truly low-to-no cost insurance for the proletariat.

    6 times and counting now Obamacare is still the law of the land. Wars of attrition have never really been decisive or shown to have positive outcomes for those that declare them. Longshanks comes to mind.

  2. Despite his stupid “who knew healthcare was so complicated gaffe” ACA repeal is not something that I am apt to put around Trump’s neck. It is squarely on the GOP Congressmen and Senators that promised their constituents that they would repeal Obamacare when they got to DC. They have done nothing in the 6-7 years to get that done because they never expected to have to. Trump winning put a big wrench in their scapegoatey/demagogy bullshit blame game with Obama. Trump just said whatever got cheers and applause at rallies and must have thought that it would be all golf and trips on AF1 by now while the idiots that demagogued this shit passed a bill for him to get out his cool pen to sign and give away.

    This isn’t a “win” for anyone. I have no idea why grown people can’t get together and put something out there that will actually help working people get through life a bit easier. The GOP kept flogging the ACA horse until (oops) they are now a majority. Many of their constituents have figured out that they are using the ACA to access the doctor for some really serious problems. Repealing it and replacing it with self-funded spending accounts and tax cuts for really wealthy people was idiotic. Who can fund a savings account for cancer treatments? I hope they are all sent home packing and replaced with people that fucking give a damn.

    Once again a disclaimer – I was never a huge fan of the ACA with the mandates, etc. I do think that pre-existing conditions should not preclude someone from getting basic care, but the risk pool is not filling up with healthy people that just pay premiums and don’t use the doctor that much. It does need some work but what the GOP put out there was a fetid stanky mess that no one would touch. Even an idiot like Gohmert can forecast the attack ads featuring dead husbands and kids with the wife/mom left holding the bag.

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