Dan Rather is at it again, doing what he does best…attacking the Trump administration.
This time, it’s over the Republicans’ new Obamacare replacement, or “Trumpcare”.
Obamacare isn’t perfect. It needs work, not replacement. What the Republicans are proposing will hurt those citizens who need insurance the most, and benefit the rich. Surprised? Dan Rather is not.
So it turns out drafting major health care legislation is difficult, who knew?
For seven years we’ve been hearing from Republicans about how horrible Obamacare was, and this was the best they could come up with? A rush job that doesn’t seem to have any new ideas or fix the core problems? It seems to prove the point that this was always about rhetoric and not about actually trying to make health insurance either cover more people or lower costs.
The ball is firmly in the court of the GOP. They control the government, and President Trump made promises on the campaign trail about lower premiums, keeping your doctor, everyone staying insured, etc. Basically a version of healthcare that would be better told by Hans Christian Andersen – a fairy tale. And everyone with any sense on this issue knew it.
Legislation isn’t a campaign speech. It actually has to be made up of words that lead to law. And those words have to actually tell you something about who will win and who will lose. Who will be covered and how much it might cost. And now that we have a GOP plan, it is getting picked apart by politicians and interest groups on all sides. It is starting to look about as popular as ants at a picnic.
You had to guess that with Paul Ryan running the show, progressives would not end up liking the result. Millions more likely uninsured? Check. Massive tax cuts for the rich? Looks that way. Also, some powerful outside voices are lining up in opposition. The AARP said ” this harmful legislation would make health care less secure and less affordable.” You can also add a major hospital group and others in the healthcare industry to the critics.
But perhaps most threatening to the long term prospects for the bill is the push and pull within the Republican Party. Moderate Senators are complaining about how rushed the process is and what will likely happen to lower income Americans. Meanwhile, the hardline conservatives see this effort as some sort of Obamacare light. And they are being propelled by outside groups on the right.
There is a lot of wonderful analysis in the press about what the GOP approach means in terms of policy. But ultimately, sadly, this will be decided on political grounds. When Ryan said “Doing big things is never easy, but we have made a promise, and we’re going to keep that promise,” he was talking of political promises made on campaign trails and fanned by conservative media. He was not talking of making promises to insure more Americans.
So here we stand. And President Trump is swinging the full weight of his Administration behind the Ryan plan. Maybe that will be enough to arm twist skeptical Republicans. Or maybe this effort will fall apart in spectacular failure. Mr. Trump promised to replace and repeal Obamacare on day one. But the Affordable Care Act (yes to some out there, that is the same as Obamacare) is still the law of the land. And who knows how long that may last. It likely will be dramatic political theater. It’s just a horrible shame that the stakes being toyed with are millions of Americans and their health insurance.