The Pre-Existing Conditions of Repeal-and-Replace

TrumpCare, we hardly knew ya!!   Mitch McConnell and his gang of disingenuous Republican Senators tried and tried, but they couldn’t get the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare.  Some Republicans thought it was too draconian, some thought it wasn’t draconian enough.  And so the bill is dead.  Although it could rise again, like a maniac killer in a slasher movie….

I ask the Republican majority–What is going on here?  You don’t like Obamacare, yet the plan you now support actually leaves more people without health care.  You’ve tried for seven years to repeal Obamacare and yet you still have no real plan to get health care to the people.  And didn’t Trump say he had a bigly plan?  To quote Bugs Bunny, “What a bunch of maroons.” Why can’t the Republicans get this done?

Well, for one thing, Obamacare is actually based on an idea from the Heritage Foundation (a Republican think-tank) and the Mitt Romney Massachusetts Health plan (which my family is currently using, by the way).  This is not a liberal plan–no, that plan is called Medicare for All; the ACA plan is actually conservative.  The Senate Republicans should just tweak that plan, instead of replacing it.  Why?  Because it’s hard to replace YOUR OWN PLAN!   Not to mention the fact that they’ve spent every waking moment presenting the Affordable Care Act as the Devil’s HMO.

healthcare

In America, capitalism is king and that idea seeps into our health care system.  Let’s not forget that the healthcare industry had its recommendations baked into the affordable care act pie; their lobbyists and donor money want to keep Obamacare.  So to keep the current health care system (which generates profits) AND get more health care to more people, Obamacare used a mandate model.  Basically, the mandate forces people (healthy and sick) to get health care, to make the pool of healthcare members so vast that benefits can be affordable. Kinda like the way we are forced to allow taxes and social security funds to be taken out of our paycheck.  (Still, a big part of Obamacare involves the very wealthy being taxed, with those specific funds going into Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Who knew it was so complicated?) You pay a portion into the system and if you need it, it’s there for you.  If you don’t need it, it goes to help someone who needs it more.   The bigger the pool, the lower the costs.  A pool so big that everyone can swim at the same time, a community pool complex with water slides and snack bars.

In any event, this uncovers the basic problem with Republican health care:  they don’t believe you are entitled to it.  The mandate is not a part of the Senate replacement bill because they don’t believe that health care is a right.  Health care is a product.  Not to mention, Republicans don’t like the idea of paying for other people’s baggage–why should I pay for your healthcare?  They believe that it’s unfair that healthy people end up paying for sick people’s benefits.  BUT THAT’S HOW INSURANCE WORKS! HELLO!?!?  When you pay your auto insurance, you don’t get the money back if you don’t have an accident.  No, it goes to cover the cost of someone else who’s had a really terrible crash.

Also, since the health care bill can’t pass with a super majority vote of 60 (the Senate only has 52 Republicans), the Senate Republicans need to address the health care bill through reconciliation, which basically means that the legislation has to be budget-related, revenue/deficit neutral and can be passed by a simple majority without giving the Democrats a chance to filibuster.  There are just too many reconciliation bill limitations and restrictions placed on the Republicans to effectively create a better healthcare plan on their own.

Their answer:  forget about health care and just make it a tax break plan for the rich.  Cut down on benefits, which cuts down the costs, which in turn gives the rich a nice tax break.  It’s always about the money, Lebowski.  Forget about helping the masses.  But the masses, they’ve grown accustomed to the benefits from the Affordable Care Act.  Replacing it means that you’ll have to come up with a more beneficial plan, which the Republicans, for all the above reasons, are incapable of doing.

Power to the People,

Scooter

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