One of the central policy objectives of a Trump presidency, as well as a Republican-controlled House and Senate, is to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Republicans in the House and Senate have a replacement at the ready.
According to The Washington Times:
“Senate Republicans are moving rapidly to set up their repeal of Obamacare by debating a budget resolution that would pave the way for a final vote later this year without having to overcome a Democratic filibuster. The GOP already has prevailed in two early test votes.
…congressional GOP leaders are speeding toward repeal before they draft an alternative, arguing that Americans in the individual insurance market require relief from rising premiums and dwindling choices under Obamacare.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is arguing that a replacement should be enacted in tandem with repeal:
I just spoke to @realDonaldTrump and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it. The time to act is now.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 7, 2017
Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster. Massive premium and deductible increases are bleeding Americans dry; exchanges are collapsing, leaving many Americans with only one or two options in their state; financially burdensome Medicaid enrollment has skyrocketed; and, as Daily Wire previously reported: “the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the number of uninsured will increase to 26-28 million over the next ten years as more employers opt to stop offering insurance plans.”
Despite the ACA’s failures, many Americans are under the misapprehension that such a system not only works, but that any system that doesn’t involve extreme federal intervention would be ineffectual and immoral.
Proponents of socialized healthcare rely on two principle arguments. Republicans want healthcare to go back to the way it was before the ACA, and Republicans don’t care about the uninsured. In order to combat these arguments, the Republicans need to have a detailed, workable, free-market oriented plan ready at the same time they repeal the ACA. Perhaps more importantly, the effectiveness of that plan must be explained to the American people.
If Republicans fail to do either of these things, they will fall victim to Democratic Party attacks, making the Party vulnerable in 2018, and 2020.