prev next

Jerry Shenk


Dems Still Own Obamacare

by Jerry Shenk
 

Listening to the left try to convince themselves and America that Democratic boondoggles are Republican problems is always funny. A perfect example is their reaction to cancelling a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Following Republican pullback of a guaranteed-to-fail House vote on a hastily-crafted plan, former Speaker, now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (who famously said, "We have to pass [Obamacare] to find out what's in it.") declared, "Today's a great day for our country," and, "It's pretty exciting for us."

Chuck Schumer, Pelosi's Senate Democratic counterpart, said that President Donald Trump's attempts to blame Democrats for the failure was "another one of his big tall tales."

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez stated: "This was a rejection of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act."

What the heck are they celebrating? It's still Obamacare; it's still imploding; and everyone knows it was passed without a single Republican vote.

It was the Democratic president whose name the calamity bears who unilaterally, arguably-illegally perverted administration of Obamacare's enforcement to delay or eliminate its most noxious provisions, and it was the same president's agencies that added twenty-thousand-plus pages of regulations to Obamacare, hastening its collapse.

Democrats who complained that "millions would be thrown off Obamacare" by its replacement really feared that millions would voluntarily abandon disappearing, prohibitively expensive Obamacare plans for better coverage options.

Indeed, the news on Obamacare is grim: Enrollment has steadily declined, and, citing losses, major insurers have pulled out of the Obamacare marketplace. Insurers that still offer plans have sharply raised premiums.

Those are not Republican problems.

Democrats' exuberance is doubly inexplicable: The House vote wasn't taken, primarily, because important elements of the House Republican delegation thought the bill didn't do enough to create a market-based health insurance system.

If Republicans wait to revisit repeal and replacement until after Obamacare's inevitable final meltdown, their leverage to replace the Democrat's failure with a market-based plan will increase exponentially. President Trump understands leverage. By demanding a House vote and then withdrawing it when it became clear the GOP establishment's plan was doomed, Trump forced what may have been his preferred outcome all along: A repeal plan like one that passed both houses in 2015 is available; Speaker Paul Ryan, an establishment GOP favorite, was weakened; and Trump is free to tempt/tease/flirt with Democrats. Upon Obamacare's failure, he will occupy the driver's seat.

Surely, congressional Democrats and party regulars know something must be done to fix their health care albatross. Nothing prevents them from advancing their own plan to repair/replace Obamacare. But, what is their plan?

It's their choice: Democrats can drop their brick-witted, obstinate determination to stonewall Republican attempts to fix what everyone concedes is a major problem and craft their own proposal to provide a launching point for negotiations to reach a passable bipartisan plan. Or they can continue to defend the indefensible until their already-meager residual leverage is completely exhausted.

The smart money's on intransigent Democrats selecting the latter option.

http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20170327/jerry-shenk-dems-still-own-obamacare


Share   Share

Featured Columnists
Featured Audio Links