Virtually the day it was signed the Reps have been calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare), at the very minimum, and replacement with something better, ideally. SEVEN YEARS went by, providing ample time to formulate something better. SEVEN YEARS!!! The Reps could have come up with a replacement or a fix and presented it to the people and used it as a campaign platform tool during that time.
But they didn’t.
The Reps, it is now clear, did absolutely nothing but piss and moan and shout empty rhetoric. It is also clear that their big haul in last November’s general election, where they scored both houses of Congress and the White House, was completely unexpected and unforeseen even by them. You could tell by their stammering and “deer in the headlights” looks when they realized they suddenly had to… <gasp!> … do something.
Since then, their stated goal of replacing Obamacare has been an utter and abysmal failure. They can’t even agree among themselves what should be done. Meanwhile, the ACA isn’t necessarily popular, but it is becoming accepted as being “just how it is”. That’s dangerous for the Reps. The Dems, for their part, have indeed been playing petty politics and have gleefully watched the Reps twist in the wind and display their mind-boggling incompetency, which is to be expected in today’s political environment, albeit somewhat irresponsible in it’s own way. So, here we are at today, Saturday, August 5, 2017, roughly half a year into the new Administration and the new Congress. What now?
Should the Dems be working on fixes to Obamacare, or just let it go like the Reps did? It’d never pass with the Reps in charge, but that’s not the point. Go back to what I said above about using a good plan as a public campaign platform tool. A marketing tool, if you will.
It is no secret that the ACA has flaws. Serious flaws. President Obama himself said publicly last year that unfortunately “affordable” wasn’t one of the results of the Affordable Care Act. Costs to the people are still going sky-high with no end in sight. That’s something that needs to be addressed and fixed, if fixing over replacement is what you believe to be the better path. That’s just one example of areas of the ACA that needs to be addressed, but I’ll leave it at that so this doesn’t get too long. You get the point, the ACA needs work.
The 2018 Mid-term elections are just over a year away. Congress always see-saws back and forth as both parties constantly succeed at getting cocky and screwing up their own positions of power, so if it’s not 2018 it will happen eventually that the Dems will be back in power.
Are the Dems blowing an opportunity? Enough time and amusement has passed watching the Reps flail away. I believe, if the Dem Party were smart, they’d start huddling and work out a plan that addresses the things about the ADA that need fixing and present it to the people publicly and use it as a campaign tool.
Now, with all this, what will cause it to never happen?
It will never happen because medical care in America is a protectionist market. It’s not a free market (and hasn’t been for decades), and it’s not wholly government-run. It’s sort of a quasi-free market kind of thing with legitimate competition severely limited to cause for-profit corporations to raise their prices just enough to hear people scream, but not quite high enough to attract unwanted government scrutiny and possible oversight. And it has been demonstrated time and again that the Democrats are as much in the pockets of these corporations as Republicans are. To appeal to the average American person they would have to advocate measures that would threaten the amount of profit these corporations are currently enjoying, and, well… we just can’t have that.