Republicans Might Coerce Democrats to Replace Obamacare for Them


As they attempt to devise a strategy for fulfilling their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans are converging on the realization that they cannot do it without Democrats. Their choice has boiled down to two basic options: Entice Democrats to cooperate on bipartisan changes, or blow up the law and try to coerce Democrats into giving them cover. The latter choice, the one favored by most Republicans, amounts to handing Democrats a gun and make them choose which hostages to shoot. The most aggressive Republicans are increasingly tipping their hand that they want to use coercion.

Why can’t Republicans just repeal and replace Obamacare on their own? One reason is Senate mechanics. Obamacare created regulations on health care, requiring basic benefits and affordable policies for older and sicker customers, along with subsidies to make the plans affordable. In the Senate, a majority can pass a bill that only changes taxes and spending. Any bill that does anything beyond change taxes and spending is subject to a filibuster. The Republicans could eliminate the subsidies that make Obamacare’s coverage affordable without any Democratic votes, but writing a replacement plan would mean changing regulations on insurance, which means they need enough votes to break a Democratic filibuster.

The second reason is that the Republican plans all involve imposing large doses of pain on millions of Americans. The GOP proposals would loosen regulations, and allow insurers to sell cheaper and skimpier plans to young and healthy consumers. Republicans focus entirely on the upside of these plans — and it’s true that young, healthy people would get to pay less. The downside is that they would load a lot more cost on people with expensive medical needs. If they let insurers charge less to the young, they’ll charge more to the old. Republicans want to trim, or even eliminate, the list of essential treatments that insurance must cover.

Please remember that dog whistle the republicans have used since The Affordable Care was enacted. They understood that many of their Tea Party coalition hated our President so they named it ObamaCare which was a red flag being placed in front of a raging bull. But lets remember that most of the elements of the affordable care were originally republican ideas.


E. Bishop III

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