Democrats Need an ACA Retain and Repair Plan

go to link lipitor in am or pm go to link spam email link to viagra efectos colaterales del viagra en jovenes watch do you get an ib on second course of accutane cialis viagra ingredients essays on how the media affects eating disorders archive info levitra online personal php remember high quality custom essay writing service cialis levitra and viagra source url write management resume argumentative essay about organ transplant coursework gcse sociology cornell essays that worked enter site source url prednisolone eye drops over the counter thesis of betrayal in hamlet follow url essays in sociology max weber follow url levitra prolong ejaculation grant writing online course 4th grade writing prompts expository essay dare essay 2009 viagra otc dubai viagra rezeptfrei in polen kaufen altace Even before President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans in Congress have sworn to repeal it. “Repeal and Replace” became a rallying cry that helped switch 63 House and six Senate seats to the GOP side of the aisle in 2010. Today Republicans have the majority in both chambers of Congress and occupy the White House. the GOP opposition to the ACA is not the only explanation for this pendulum swing, but that opposition was certainly a factor.

Republican votes to repeal the ACA became a Washington staple in the six years after the law’s passage. There’s no official count, but House Republicans may have voted 60 times or more to do away with Obamacare. And why not? With President Obama in the White House they knew their repeal legislation would never become law. Votes to repeal the law were an easy political statement.

Now Republicans hold the power to make repeal real and thing aren’t so easy. The House Republican Leadership, reputedly with input from the White House and Senate Republicans, drafted and put forward the American Health Care Act as the first step in the repeal and replace effort. The AHCA faces an uncertain fate in even in the House of Representatives. And a report by the Congressional Budget Office of the AHCA’s impact on the uninsured, the federal budget, premiums and the affordability of coverage has only narrowed the bill’s path to passage.

Republicans want to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare and fear the political payback if they fail to do so. They know they will own the results of any health care reform they pass. f that result includes higher premiums and fewer insureds, the political price could be both high and painful.

Thus the current Republican civil war. More moderate Republicans worry the AHCA doesn’t do enough to support Medicaid and keep Americans insured. Their conservative counterparts are lining up against the AHCA because they see the bill as creating new entitlements and failing to cut back on Medicaid fast enough. Whether the two sides can be brought together is unknown (although I’m skeptical).

Which leaves Democrats sitting back and enjoying the spectacle of Republican-on-Republican political violence. They’ll occasionally throw a sound bite over the transom keep things interesting and to remind their base that they’re fighting the good fight. Generally, however, Democrats are adhering to adage of avoiding interfering with the enemy when they are in the process of destroying themselves.

This is a dangerous strategy. Politics can take sudden turns and, if they’re not careful, Democrats could find themselves in the same predicament that Republicans are in today.

When attacking the GOP health care proposal, Democrats often recite a mantra along the lines of “Sure, the ACA has some problems. But we shouldn’t repeal the ACA, we should fix it.”  But what does that mean? Democrats are as shy about detailing what “retain and repair” means as Republicans have been about defining “repeal and replace.”

History may show Republican’s failure to devise an ACA alternative in the six years following its passage as political malpractice. Their civil war over the AHCA provides Democrats with a window of opportunity to avoid a similar judgment..

Republicans want Democrats to do more than gloat. The Hill reported that Senator John Cornyn challenged Democrats to offer an alternative to the AHCA. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer response: we have and it’s called the Affordable Care Act.

That’s a good line, but that’s all it is. If Republicans fail to pass health care reform, things as they are remains. That status quo is the ACA, a law Democrats admit is flawed and should be fixed. Democrats can claim the high ground by identifying those flaws and offering remedies. Even if Democrats fail to gain Republican support for retain and repair, there’s a value to building a party consensus around a proposal now.

After all, President Donald Trump prides himself as a deal maker. It’s extremely unlikely, but if the AHCA fails, President Trump might look for an alternative and the Democrats should be ready with one. Again, a deal with President Trump is highly unlikely, but these are not likely political times.

Even if the Democratic retain and repair proposal goes nowhere in 2017, it could be useful later. Democrats will need something to run on in 2018. A consensus retain and repair platform might be helpful.

Then there’s the possibility that Democrats are in control of Congress and the White House come 2020. If so, today’s Republicans offer an important lesson. The year you take control of Washington is not the time to start debating a health care reform plan; it’s the time to present one.


One thought on “Democrats Need an ACA Retain and Repair Plan

  1. Given the fact that playing the role of obstructionists has seemed to work for the GOP, I see no reason why the democrats should not follow the GOP’s formula for success, especially given the fact that democratic participation will only enhance the public perception that the GOP can govern more effectively than the Democrats.
    HOWEVER, if I were a democratic legislator, I would recommend retaining the current tax credits and the ACA rules for Medicaid eligibility.
    In addition, I would trumpet my Party’s intent to keep the current community based premium charges for older individuals at the current level of 3-1 as opposed to the GOP’s proposal to change premiums for older individuals to 5-1.
    Moreover, I would acquiesce to the GOP’s proposal to eliminate mandated coverage, especially since the shortfall in the CBO expected number of enrollees probably correlates with the number of taxpayers who opt to pay the penalty rather than obtaining health insurance.
    The failure to achieve the number of expected enrollees on the Exchanges is the primary reason health insurers are leaving the Exchange markets; only those families and individuals who need coverage are signing up, and those without coverage are waiting until medical coverage becomes a necessity (see link).
    In place of the individual mandate, I would allow the insurance companies to charge penalty premiums to those who have opted not to obtain health insurance, until it became a medical necessity. This is in line with the current GOP proposal to add a 30% surcharge for failure to maintain continuous coverage. I would also propose that those who have failed to maintain coverage are ineligible for tax credits for their 1st year of coverage.
    In closing, I doubt either the GOP, or the Democrats would agree with my recommendations.

Comments are closed.