Republicans at the crossroads on Obamacare repeal

Republican senators have reached the crossroads on repealing Obamacare.  They can either begin their long promised dismantling of the health care law or succumb to the doomsday rhetoric from a Democratic Party that has lost over 1,000 state and federal electoral seats since President Obama began his namesake transformation to socialized medicine.

With senators at both ends of the Republican spectrum expressing various concerns about the Senate's so-called "Better Care Reconciliation Act," leadership are working to make changes but has also have said "they do not think adding more time will help them win votes."  A vote is scheduled later this week.

All of the posturing and wringing of hands over a limited repeal bill raises the question: what are these senators so afraid of after campaigning ceaselessly for the past three election cycles on Obamacare repeal?

Sally Pipes, writing at forbes.com, makes the case that the GOP Better Care bill is not the "sweeping overhaul" that Democrats portray in apocalyptic terms:

Listen to the critics of the GOP's healthcare reform effort, and you might think Republicans are intent on personally cancelling the insurance policies of 300 million Americans.

... But in reality, for better or worse, most Americans won't see much change in the way they access and pay for medical care, if the GOP's healthcare reform effort becomes law.

Most of the reforms contemplated by Republicans would address the individual insurance market, where just 7 percent of Americans currently secure their coverage.

... Even the GOP's brand of Medicaid reform will preserve much of the status quo. It won't phase out Obamacare's expansion of the program until 2021 – and then do so gradually over three years. If Democrats retake the White House and Congress before then, it's unlikely that the expansion will ever come to an end.

Referring to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, Pipes maintains that for the nearly half of Americans who obtain health care insurance through their employers, simple economics is more important than government mandates:

Generous health benefits have long been used by businesses to attract talented workers. Now that America's jobless rate is near a 10-year low, the competition for labor is high. So it's far less likely that companies will cut back on benefits.

A strong economy, it turns out, is far more effective at boosting access to coverage than any government mandate.

A health reform bill that repeals the individual and employer mandates, repeals all but one of the Obamacare taxes, stabilizes "collapsing insurance markets" (albeit with insurer subsidies), phases out the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, gives states more flexibility on Medicaid, expands health savings accounts, reduces the deficit by $321 billion over ten years, and jumpstarts the dismantling of Obamacare should be a no-brainer for Republicans who control the House, the Senate, and the presidency. 

And despite all the fear-mongering, Democrats can't get any traction opposing Obamacare repeal, as politico.com observes:

And while Trump-era marches have drawn tens of thousands into the streets to call for action against climate change, support immigrants and demand the president's tax returns, none have focused on opposing Obamacare repeal.

While the CBO score released on Monday may give nervous Republican senators the jitters, there is no excuse for Republicans to fail on their first major installment of the Trump agenda, which, the last time it was voted on, was the American people's agenda.

Republican senators have reached the crossroads on repealing Obamacare.  They can either begin their long promised dismantling of the health care law or succumb to the doomsday rhetoric from a Democratic Party that has lost over 1,000 state and federal electoral seats since President Obama began his namesake transformation to socialized medicine.

With senators at both ends of the Republican spectrum expressing various concerns about the Senate's so-called "Better Care Reconciliation Act," leadership are working to make changes but has also have said "they do not think adding more time will help them win votes."  A vote is scheduled later this week.

All of the posturing and wringing of hands over a limited repeal bill raises the question: what are these senators so afraid of after campaigning ceaselessly for the past three election cycles on Obamacare repeal?

Sally Pipes, writing at forbes.com, makes the case that the GOP Better Care bill is not the "sweeping overhaul" that Democrats portray in apocalyptic terms:

Listen to the critics of the GOP's healthcare reform effort, and you might think Republicans are intent on personally cancelling the insurance policies of 300 million Americans.

... But in reality, for better or worse, most Americans won't see much change in the way they access and pay for medical care, if the GOP's healthcare reform effort becomes law.

Most of the reforms contemplated by Republicans would address the individual insurance market, where just 7 percent of Americans currently secure their coverage.

... Even the GOP's brand of Medicaid reform will preserve much of the status quo. It won't phase out Obamacare's expansion of the program until 2021 – and then do so gradually over three years. If Democrats retake the White House and Congress before then, it's unlikely that the expansion will ever come to an end.

Referring to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, Pipes maintains that for the nearly half of Americans who obtain health care insurance through their employers, simple economics is more important than government mandates:

Generous health benefits have long been used by businesses to attract talented workers. Now that America's jobless rate is near a 10-year low, the competition for labor is high. So it's far less likely that companies will cut back on benefits.

A strong economy, it turns out, is far more effective at boosting access to coverage than any government mandate.

A health reform bill that repeals the individual and employer mandates, repeals all but one of the Obamacare taxes, stabilizes "collapsing insurance markets" (albeit with insurer subsidies), phases out the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, gives states more flexibility on Medicaid, expands health savings accounts, reduces the deficit by $321 billion over ten years, and jumpstarts the dismantling of Obamacare should be a no-brainer for Republicans who control the House, the Senate, and the presidency. 

And despite all the fear-mongering, Democrats can't get any traction opposing Obamacare repeal, as politico.com observes:

And while Trump-era marches have drawn tens of thousands into the streets to call for action against climate change, support immigrants and demand the president's tax returns, none have focused on opposing Obamacare repeal.

While the CBO score released on Monday may give nervous Republican senators the jitters, there is no excuse for Republicans to fail on their first major installment of the Trump agenda, which, the last time it was voted on, was the American people's agenda.