Joel Chandler Harris was an American author who wrote the Uncle Remus stories. Some of these stories later became an animated film by Walt Disney called “Song of the South.” One of the characters in these stories was Br’er (“brother”) Rabbit, who when captured by Bre’r Fox pleads, “Don’t throw me into the briar patch.” Of course, Br’er Rabbit has grown up in the briar patch, is quite at home there, and sees the briar patch as an escape route. So why in the world is a political blog talking about Br’er Rabbit and the briar patch? Because I believe the story of Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox totally explains the current healthcare debate.
Let’s look at the healthcare debacle strictly through a political lens. The best outcome for the Republicans (with a Republican President) is the complete failure of ObamaCare–rising costs, escalating premiums, denial of healthcare to senior citizens and young people, etc. Theoretically, President Trump has tried to avoid this. Had this failure occurred under a Democratic President, the solution would have been single-payer socialistic medicine. Under a Republican President, a free-market solution may be possible, but only after the total failure of ObamaCare. As premiums rise and health insurance and healthcare become more difficult to obtain, voters may get angry enough to remove from office those who had blocked the repeal of ObamaCare. I suspect that much of the Tea Party is already there. Because the Republicans could not repeal ObamaCare, it is still the Democrat’s policy. That may be exactly where the Republicans wanted it.
So where are we now in the healthcare debate?
The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that there is no possibility of repealing and replacing ObamaCare and there is no possibility of repealing ObamaCare over the next two years.
The article reports news from two sources:
From Bloomberg News:
GOP Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday they’ll oppose a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. McConnell said late Monday the Senate would vote on a repeal with a two-year delay to give Congress time to agree on a replacement, but he could afford to lose no more than two Republican votes to advance the measure.
Repealing the law now and then hoping for a replacement “would create great anxiety for individuals who rely on the ACA,” Collins of Maine told reporters in Washington. “I believe it would cause the insurance markets to go into turmoil.” She said she would oppose bringing a repeal bill up for debate.
Capito of West Virginia said she would refuse to take up a repeal plan without an adequate replacement. “I did not come to Washington to hurt people,” she said in a statement.
Murkowski of Alaska also said she wouldn’t vote to take up a repeal-alone measure.
From the Washington Examiner:
House Republicans on Tuesday were seething with anger over the Senate GOP’s late Monday decision to pull the plug on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Lawmakers leaving the House GOP’s weekly conference meeting said feelings of exasperation and anger have set in, now that the Senate has dropped plans to vote on an Obamacare replacement bill this month.
“There is a lot of frustration, borderline anger I guess, at what really has to be described as some level of incompetence to be able to get together and get something done,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Examiner.
I am not sure the Democrats are celebrating the fact that the Republicans could not repeal ObamaCare–now the Democrats are stuck with a healthcare plan that is rapidly crashing.