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The Obamacare Repeal Debacle
By Caleb Coggeshall
Here we are, once again, battling over healthcare. Republicans are “fighting” to roll back Obamacare (that’s what they promised anyway) and the democrats are digging and not giving an inch of ground to keep everything from the ACA in place. The part that is most infuriating about this battle is that at least the democratic members of Congress are dedicated to their cause; the republicans give off the impression that they’re doing this out of sheer obligation and just want to get it done quickly so they can claim they did something. After this is over (if it ever will be over), many in the GOP will probably expect their base to be content with whatever is done, no matter how little. “Oh well, at least they tried,” many voters on the right are supposed to say.
At the beginning, many republicans gave their constituents hope that they would repeal the bill. In fact, House Republicans voted over fifty times to get rid of (or at least change) the ACA while Obama was still in office. But like Palpatine, the GOP told their constituents that they needed more power. They needed the Senate. Once they got control of the Senate, they then told everyone that they needed the White House. And now that the Republicans finally control all three branches, everyone is waiting for them to say that now they need their voters to bring them a shrubbery and cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring. And then… they just might be able to repeal Obamacare.
A big question for the GOP is, why is the leadership now giving a halfhearted attempt to nix this law after all the chest-puffing in recent years? In short, it seems like it was all a show under President Obama: Did the Republicans ever really intended to fully dismantle the healthcare bill? Many might consider this scenario harsh or untrue, but what else could it possibly be? “Well, you don’t understand how difficult this all really is, and more so when you’re working with the democrats,” is how the argument would more or less possibly go. The GOP was able to invoke the nuclear option in the Senate and put Justice Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. So why should now be any different, or so complicated?
Now Republicans think they can actually fix the boondoggle that is Obamacare. Not repeal it, but fix it, tweak it and make it work. How conveniently they forget that every time government tries to repair anything, it always comes out worse than they intended. Some have justly criticized the GOP proposal as “Obamacare-Lite.” After all the years of voting, protesting and organizing, this is the Republican Party’s grand plan? Is this how little they think of their constituency? Perhaps all of these politicians are expecting gratitude for a tepid attempt at repeal. Should their base be thanking them? As with most gifts, I suppose it’s the thought that counts.
Yet a glimmer of hope remains: there is a handful (and it’s always just only a handful) of principled conservatives in Congress defying this joke of a bill. It’s a sad day for liberty when Republicans have to fight Republicans in order to shrink the size of government. Leaders in the GOP give the impression that they’ll fight for limiting the state only when it’s convenient or advantageous. So what does the Republican Party stand for anymore?