Republicans have long pined for the day when they would control both houses of Congress and the White House so they can keep their long-delayed promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. But now that their dream has finally come true, might they be between the proverbial rock and a hard place?
That’s the contention of Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, who appeared on CNN Wednesday morning to talk about the issue. Merkley told host Chris Cuomo that the GOP is actually “terrified” of repealing the ACA because so many features of the law are very popular:
“The Republicans are terrified of actually repealing because so many elements are quite popular. The idea that you can have insurance even if you have preexisting conditions, the fact that children can stay on your policy until age 26, the investment in prevention, because prevention is so much smarter than treating diseases down the road — all of these elements really resonate.”
Repealing Obamacare is easy. You just pass a bill that does away with it. But what then? It appears the Republicans will repeal the act, but then delay implementation of that repeal for three years because they are scared to death of the political fallout which would occur if they suddenly strip 20 million or so Americans of their health insurance. But the problem with that strategy is that it has the potential to create uncertainty in the individual insurance market and might lead to insurance carriers dropping out of the health care exchanges. If that happens, once again millions of us would be left with no health coverage whatsoever.
Here’s a suggestion for the GOP, though they won’t heed it: Single-payer healthcare via Medicare, which would be extended to every American. It makes perfect sense and is the way we will have to go eventually. If the insurance companies complain, to hell with them. They can go bankrupt, just like so many people without insurance who have had catastrophic illnesses which left them broke and even homeless.
I sure as hell won’t cry for the insurance companies. Will you?
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org