After attempting to repeal all or part of Obamacare a bajillion times during Barack Obama’s presidency, you’d think Congressional Republicans would jump at the opportunity to finally repeal the law once and for all now that they won’t face a presidential veto.
It appeared that would be the case initially. On January 3rd Congressional Republicans introduced a resolution to begin repealing Obamacare, with Senate Budget Committee chair Mike Enzi stating that “Today, we take the first steps to repair the nation’s broken health care system, removing Washington from the equation and putting control back where it belongs: with patients, their families and their doctors.”
So we were off to a good start. And what’s happened since then? Silence, for the most part, as House Republicans remain divided on how to repeal and replace the law.
You’d think they could at least begin by repealing it. In response to the concerns over what will immediately replace it – does a firefighter ask what he’s going to replace a fire with after he puts it out?
Well, to give you an update on their progress, Ben Shapiro has the scoop. Repeal of Obamacare continues to be politically complicated, thanks to President Obama’s ardent (and successful) attempts to put millions of Americans on Medicaid. Repealing Obamacare without harming those people is a sticky wicket, and Republicans in Congress are having trouble coming up with a plan that would do just that – particularly given President Trump’s desire to keep two key provisions of Obamacare: the no pre-existing conditions provision, and the mandate to keep children on their parents’ insurance until age 26. The individual mandate has not been repealed, and will likely not be repealed until after April 30, according to Professor John Sides of George Washington University.Which means that Republicans will have failed on two of their chief mandates in the first 100 days – or at least that conservatives will have to ratchet up the pressure on their Congressmen and on President Trump to pass their agenda. If they don’t, we’ll watch another Republican era fade into oblivion. We were told an Obamacare repeal bill would be on the president’s desk by February 20th – so clearly they’ve missed that deadline.
There was no problem pushing countless Obamacare repeal bills through when Obama was president when there was basically no chance of ever getting them through. What’s the hold up now? Are they afraid it’ll actually get repealed this time and the other attempts were for show?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]