Healthcare

Repeal and Replace Later. Maybe.

KevinMcCarthy
JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As you know, Republicans have talked about repealing and replacing Obamacare for over six years at this point, but while they did vote to repeal Obamacare over 50 times, they never got around to actually crafting or passing a replacement.

Passing healthcare reform, even if it's conservative (which Obamacare was), is incredibly difficult. It's simply not possible to debate, draft, and pass sweeping legislation that overhauls a third of our entire economy overnight.

Republicans actually do know that, which is why they're backing away from their plans to immediately replace Obamacare, but not their pledge to repeal it.

House Majority Leader Kevin McKarthy said this morning their current thinking is to repeal Obamacare and consider replacing it at a later date. Maybe.

"My personal belief and nothing has been decided yet. I would [move through] and repeal and then go to work on replacing," McCarthy said. "I think once it is repealed you will have, hopefully, fewer people playing politics."

McCarthy argued that Democrats may be incentivized to come to the table then, but he didn't say what the time frame for replace the Affordable Care Act would be.

Here's a spoiler: if they repeal Obamacare without simultaneously replacing it, there will never be a replacement.

To argue that Democrats would be incentivized to come to the table after repealing the law is a misnomer. There won't be a table. Republicans themselves would have no incentive to come to the table without Obamacare to kick around. They would be more than happy to return to the status quo of yesteryear rather than go through the trouble of passing a replacement.

Some Republicans including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan say they want to keep certain provisions of Obamacare such as the elimination of pre-existing conditions, but retaining those provisions without replacing other mechanisms of the law may be impossible.

If Obamacare somehow survives the Trump kleptocracy (I don't think it will), it will be because Republicans have no idea how to replace it.

It's revealing to me that Republican seem willing accept provisions that eliminate pre-existing conditions and allow children to remain on their parent's insurance plans until they're 26. Those provisions probably directly affect their own families and so they're willing to keep them. The rest of the law, such as Medicaid expansion and subsidies, is cast as a handout to those people.

  • muselet

    “I think once it is repealed you will have, hopefully, fewer people playing politics.”

    Uh-huh. And who, exactly, has been playing politics over access to health insurance—and, thereby, to healthcare—for the past, oh, eight years or so, Mr McCarthy?

    I’m embarrassed to share a state with this clownshoe.

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    If I’m reading between the lines correctly he’s saying they’d repeal it to incentivize Democrats to come to the table…to broker a deal to save the people who just got fucked out of their health insurance?

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    If Obamacare somehow survives the Trump kleptocracy (I don’t think it will), it will be because Republicans have no idea how to replace it.

    It won’t.

    They are going to pass a bill in the first 100 days whose text, in its entirety, reads: “ObamaCare is hereby repealed.” (and, yes, they’re going to say ObamaCare, not the ACA)

    • ninjaf

      Hmmm…no such law exists. So, by all means, repeal it! 😉

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    elimination of pre-existing conditions, but retaining those provisions without replacing other mechanisms of the law may be impossible.

    Nonsense!

    Republicans love having higher expenses without any semblance of a plan for paying for it.

    They’ll be perfectly happy to leave the preexisting conditions bit in and then do absolutely fuck-all about paying for it. Then, when the thing crashes and burns, they’ll find a way to blame Democrats and, in particular, Obama.

    • The question isn’t whether or not Republicans will leave that provision in, but whether or not insurance companies will do it. Here’s the answer: They won’t. It would be a financial disaster for the insurance companies to guarantee coverage despite existing conditions..

      • ninjaf

        Which is why the mandates and subsidies were put in place in the first place.

        But here we go with our “logic” and non-revisionist history, again.

    • Exactly! They’ll dump it in the lap of a Democratic President who will spend all of his or her time cleaning up their frigging mess without making progress on other issues.