Republicans, perhaps sensing that their failure to repeal Obamacare may have cost them some goodwill with the base, are reportedly tossing around the idea of taking another shot at the healthcare law leading up to the midterm elections.
With insurance companies raising premiums into the stratosphere going into 2019, many in the GOP are concerned that the Democrats will be able to blame them for the rising costs, tying them back to the individual mandate repeal that was included in the tax bill. Not only that, but conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation continue to put pressure on Republicans to live up to their campaign promises and repeal the 2010 law entirely.
“A coalition of conservative groups have for months purportedly been working behind the scenes to draft a measure that would pass in Congress, and more specifically one that would garner some bipartisan support and get through the Senate, where the repeal-replace effort led by President Trump and practically every elected Republican in Washington failed in July 2017,” reports Fox News. “Several people familiar with the new effort said this week that they have senators ready to sponsor the legislation and expressed confidence that their state-based plan will pass where others have failed.”
To say we’re skeptical of such a possibility would be putting it mildly. There were several options on the table in 2017, and there appeared to be no way to find a proposal that would satisfy RINOs like Susan Collins while also satisfying, say, the House Freedom Caucus. We don’t see how anything has changed in that calculation over the last year; if anything, the political pressure coming from the base on this issue has dissipated to the point that “moderates” will feel more emboldened than ever to stick to their guns. Obamacare just isn’t the hot button topic that it was two years ago.
Still, we commend Republicans for giving it another shot, because when the rubber meets the road, this IS a promise left unfulfilled. The repeal of the mandate was a nice step forward, but we’re about to have a real mess on our hands once the Obamacare death spiral begins really taking shape. Not only will this mess cost us a fortune, it will be very easy for Democrats to blame it on Republicans. If Congress wants to avoid a potential disaster-in-the-making, they will go back to the drawing board, come up with a health plan that makes sense, and pass it to the president’s desk.