A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Delay the Affordable Care Act?

It would be funny if it weren't so insidious. Having spent three years doing everything they can do to either repeal or undermine "Obamacare," we now have some initial indications of success and slower rises in health insurance premiums than at any time under Republican governance. Nevertheless, House Republicans have voted at least 47 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act UPDATE: 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act when they're not voting to delay it.

At this point there's no stopping the implementation of Obamacare. The White House has delayed specific provisions to the derision of conservatives, but the overall provisions are not going to be stopped. Every year conservatives claim that it's going to make premiums skyrocket and every year it doesn't happen. Now we have an election year coming up, a mid-term election where Republicans typically have more success and they've pinned their election strategy on selling the idea that Obamacare is a failure. Clearly, Republicans will keep trying to repeal and delay as long as possible.

So here's the thing: I would completely support a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The one thing Republicans could do to get my support is give us Medicare for all. Give us a public option, a single payer system where the government can negotiate costs. It doesn't have to completely replace private insurance like in Canada; plenty of nations have instituted both to great success. But stop pretending that health care is a luxury rather than a literal life-or-death necessity. Then you'll get your wish. You'll have completely undermined the Democrats and demonstrated that the Republicans are genuinely more concerned about governance than catering to industry lobbyists.

Until then, no. No delays, no repeal, no "compromise" intended to undermine the success of the program. If there's no progress then there's no deal.

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