Littwin: The real story of the failed Obamacare repeal (column)
July 19, 2017
The great lie of the long-running Obamacare debate has officially been revealed. The reason Republicans spent seven years without offering their own health care plan is that they don't have one, they've never had one, and, the way it looks, they never will have one.
That's because there is no plan that offers better coverage for less money. There is no plan that can pass muster with voters if it robs hundreds of billions from Medicaid and deposits that money into the hands of the most wealthy. There is no acceptable plan that doesn't insure as many people as possible or cover pre-existing conditions or allows junk insurance policies to set lifetime caps.
If Obamacare repeal and replace is truly dead — or, as some repeal opponents fear, only mostly dead — there is much blame to go around, but most of it centers on the fact that the debate was always more about Obama, who, I'm pretty sure, is no longer president, then it was about Obamacare, which is basically accepted now by a majority of Americans.
In the face of defeat, Donald Trump's latest ploy is to let Obamacare die, rather than try again to repeal it, and then come up with a new plan! Or in his tweeted words Tuesday morning: "We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard. We will return!" In a seperate tweet, he added, "As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!"
What Trump's "plan" would do, of course, is to force insurance companies to flee the exchanges and leave, according to the CBO, approximately 32 million Americans without health insurance. On the other hand, Trump can keep his new cowboy hat. Stay tuned, indeed!
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