GOP Disagreements Shows Obamacare Is Not Done Yet
Make no mistake, there are endless reasons Obamacare critics want a repeal of the law.
Government overreach, a lack of options in some states, rising costs, Obama's big broken promise over people being able to keep plans they liked; those are just some of the points cited for opposing the statute.
But there are, of course, people who want to keep the Affordable Care Act, and depending on which poll you consult, you'll find a majority of respondents are in favor of keeping it.
With a Republican president in the White House and Republicans in the majority of both houses of Congress, ACA supporters have had reason to fear the end of "universal" healthcare.
So it should come as no surprise that the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, finally introduced an a plan on Tuesday to take down the ACA and replace it with something new: the American Health Care Act.
Here's the surprise though:
Practically from the minute the AHCA was revealed, conservatives have been doing something that will actually encourage people who like Obamacare: They've been disagreeing, vehemently.
In Washington, Speaker Ryan and supporting representatives are touting the bill. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is bizarrely trying to hasten the process pass it as law.
President Trump has embraced the bill and is even publicly nudging other other senators to do the same.
On the other hand, big name senators like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have said they wants no parts of the AHCA, Conservative writers far and wide are ripping Ryan for the bill and popular show hosts like Dana Loesch are calling it Obamacare 2.0.
Meanwhile, conservative site Breitbart News has resorted to clowning Speaker.
All of this illustrates a point that cannot be emphasized enough: Passing healthcare reform is hard. Like, really, really hard. We know this because we saw Obama go through it.
The former president, like Trump, had his party in control of Congress, and yet it still it look him over a year to sign the Affordable Care Act, after months and months and months of fierce debate.
Now, the Republicans arguably have it tougher.
No matter who likes Obamacare and who does it, there's an expectation that the government has to "fix" healthcare, regardless of the party responsible.
The problem? Conservatives are inherently against "big government," so any replacement plan that looks like Obamacare is antithetical to what the GOP typically practices.
At the same time, if they take away people's means to get healthcare, there could be grave consequences during the 2018 elections.
It's a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't situation.
That's why these types of disagreements were inevitable, and now that they're here, there's a reasonable case to be made that Republicans won't be able to repeal and replace Obamacare at all.
So while plenty of people who love Obamacare had reason to assume it would experience a swift death under a Trump presidency, what Republicans are doing this week suggests otherwise.