Congressional Republicans spent six years trying to repeal Obamacare, but now that they are in control of Congress and the White House, House and Senate Republicans are stuck in a trap of their own making and are trying to delay implementation of the repeal for up to four years.
Bloomberg reported on the great Republican Obamacare repeal dilemma, “Republicans are debating how long to delay implementing the repeal. Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan. House conservatives want a two-year fuse for the repeal. Republican leaders prefer at least three years, and there has been discussion of putting it off until after the 2020 elections, staffers said.”
Republicans have warned about the evils of Obamacare for years and promised their supporters that life would immediately improve once the healthcare law was gone. If this is the case, why are Republicans waiting for years to implement the reform? The answer is very simple. Many of the Republican criticisms of the health care law were based on ideology, not fact.
The Republican Party has spent years claiming that Obamacare is a job killer. As Politico reported, the ACA has been the exact opposite. Obamacare has been a jobs program for the healthcare sector, “The private sector has grown every single month since the ACA passed in March 2010, a number that Obama often touts when he defends his signature law. And many of those jobs are, literally, in health care. More than 1 in 9 employed Americans now gets a paycheck directly from the health care industry, and that’s not counting the millions more who work in associated fields, like tech companies that specialize in health care services or the consulting firms that gorge on the sector’s inefficiency.”
Obamacare also hasn’t caused insurance rates to increase. As The New York Times pointed out, “If you get a subsidy, and you’re willing to switch plans, you won’t have to pay these big increases. More than 80 percent of Obamacare customers get subsidies that help them pay the cost of their premiums. Those people do not pay the full cost of insurance out of their pockets, and they will not feel the full brunt of these increases, as long as there is a less expensive plan available in their market and they are willing to switch.” The premium increase only applied to the ten million who got their insurance through the exchange and the 7 million people who bought their own insurance outside of the exchange, and subsidies offset the premium increase for 80% of people in the exchange.
Republicans promised to repeal a law that was working pretty well, and replace it with nothing comparable. The GOP is caught between their years of lies about the ACA and reality. The Republican Party has set a trap for itself and is about to throw the economy and health insurance system into chaos because they are trying to repeal a law without ever implementing the repeal.
Repeal is a lose/lose situation for Republicans. Either they end the law and cause chaos, or they keep the law and enact a lie that will create years of uncertainty.
The bill has come due for years of Obamacare lies, and Republicans will pay a heavy price no matter the course of action that they pursue.