The Republican Party's war on expanding medical care to the vulnerable and sick has been one of the most vile acts in modern American history. Essentially a conservative idea in the first place, Republicans have opposed the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it was introduced by a Democrat. Never mind the fact that despite some flaws, it is working very well and has not only covered millions of people, but led to over $220 billion in savings for Americans this year alone.
Trump's promise to repeal Obamacare was fundamental to his campaign, and now he is heading to the White House in January of next year, he faces a monumental problem: How to repeal a piece of legislation that is woven into law and working to bring affordable healthcare to millions of Americans? Paul Krugman explains the dastardly tactics Trump and the GOP will use to continue gaining from the vilification of Obamacare, while reaping the rewards of its efficacy:
We know what Republicans want: a free-for-all in which insurance companies can discriminate as they like, with minimal regulation and drastic cuts in government aid. Going there would, however, cause millions of Americans — many of them people who voted for Trump, believing that their recent gains were safe — to lose coverage. The political blowback would be terrible.
Yet failing to repeal Obamacare would also bring heavy political costs. So the emerging Republican health care strategy, according to news reports, is“repeal and delay” — vote to kill Obamacare, but with the effective date pushed back until after the 2018 midterm elections. By then, G.O.P. leaders promise, they’ll have come up with the replacement they haven’t been able to devise over the past seven years.
There will, of course, be no replacement. And there’s likely to be chaos in health care markets well before Obamacare’s official expiration date, as insurance companies exit markets they know will soon collapse. But the political thinking seems to be that they can find a way to blame Democrats for the debacle.
It’s all very Trumpian, if you think about it. An honest memoir of the president-elect’s business career would be titled “The art of the scam.”
You can bet this is exactly what will happen -- the Republican Party has benefited enormously from being the party of opposition and has built a political strategy around misinforming the public on every issue imaginable. They have waged war on the evidence behind climate change, gun violence, women's rights, immigration, economics and health care, and have succeeded in sowing so much doubt into the minds of Americans that many genuinely believe climate change doesn't exist, that free market economics works, and Obamacare is a Stalin-esque plan to kill Americans. Now they have to govern and contend with these very real issues that require intelligent and thoughtful policy, they need to figure out a way to continue benefitting from the lies they have been telling for so many years.
This trick will only last until after the midterms, and then Trump and the GOP will likely find someone else to blame when they actually have to make good on their promise to dismantle the ACA. The fallout will no doubt be disastrous, but then when has the GOP cared about wrecking the lives of the disadvantaged? To them, it'll just be more ammunition to use against minorities.