The Trump administration failed last week in its latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, but that doesn’t mean the Republican Party is finished. It just means Trump and Republican congressional leaders know what they can’t do.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, are in the fight until the end, despite polls that show a majority of Americans support Obamacare.
“More Americans prefer the Republicans now work with Democrats to improve Obamacare (47 percent), rather than try to repeal it outright (21 percent) or replace it with something exclusively of their own (19 percent),” CBS News reports.
Meanwhile, some Republicans and Democrats are working together to repair Obamacare in the hopes of paving the way forward.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said this week the Senate health committee will hold bipartisan health care hearings on how to repair the individual market, CNN reports. An estimated 40 lawmakers from both parties support an outline of ideas to make fixes to Obamacare.
“If your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market,” Lamar said in a statement, CNN writes. “Both Republicans and Democrats agree on this.”
So while Congress is in recess until September, we should expect Ryan and McConnell to whip out a new bag of tricks when they return after Labor Day.
How did we get in this mess? Well, the Affordable Care Act, America’s most comprehensive health care bill, was signed into law in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Obama’s signature legislation, among other things, mandates the expansion of Medicaid to those without dependent children, allows dependents to remain on their parents’ plans until 26, limits insurance companies from removing sick customers, removes lifetime coverage limits, and provides access to screenings for diseases like breast cancer.
Since the measure was enacted, Republicans have been trying to repeal, arguing against big government. Trump campaigned for president on the promise of upending Obamacare. But repealing the law would mean more than 30 million people would lose health insurance over the next few years.
For now, Americans can only hope Republicans and Democrats can come up with a bipartisan agreement that would avert a repeal. Do you think it will happen?