It’s no wonder Republicans are in trouble with their plan to destroy Obamacare. They have nothing that addresses the market failure that prevents millions from getting coverage while costs keep rising.
Republicans are having a difficult time actually delivering on their promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare for many reasons, not least because Obamacare is at its core an old Republican health-care plan.
The Affordable Care Act had its origins in GOP ideas of the 1990s, some from the highly influential Heritage Foundation. The goal was to use incentives and reforms within the existing private insurance system to provide care for more people, as an alternative to a single-payer system.
A forerunner of Obamacare was successfully implemented in Massachusetts by then-Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee.
When President Barack Obama set out to expand coverage after his 2008 election, he spent more than a year seeking bipartisan support. He kicked liberals aside in their demand for a public option (a Medicare-based system with the government effectively the insurer) and went with a “market-based” plan, a potential gold mine for insurance companies.
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Yet not a single Republican voted for the ACA. The party discovered its own political gold in demonizing Obamacare as “socialism” at the hands of someone many Republicans (including Donald Trump) refused to believe was even an American citizen. The Republican-controlled House voted more than 60 times to repeal or change ACA, knowing it would never get past Obama’s veto.
Now in total power in D.C., the Grand Old Party is having to face the music: the devastating Congressional Budget Office report showing its replacement plan means 24 million Americans would lose health coverage by 2026, enormous cuts to Medicaid and big premium hikes for older, lower-income people.
This might offer…