I remember back in 2009 and 2010 how embarrassed I was to be a Democrat. There was so much party infighting about the Affordable Care Act, with DINOs slowly pulling the bill to the right. I watched the Obama White House pull every last tooth in order to pass the bill, and cringed through it all.
But if that was a hot mess, it is nothing, nothing to the dumpster fire of the Republican Party today.
The Republicans are trying to repeal a bill that gets more popular every time the public gets a glimpse of the alternative. And absolutely nobody can agree. Paul Ryan is leading a voyage of the damned, promising that the bill will pass, even as moderates and conservatives flee from his Frankenstein monster of a legislative creation.
Republicans are in a bind because they basically promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a conservative alternative. The problem is that Obamacare is the conservative alternative. The left has traditionally favored single-payer health insurance; which is essentially the government just providing insurance to people without the moral hazard of making money off not paying out benefits. Conservatives have traditionally favored free market approaches, with perhaps a little federal intervention to help people who fall through the cracks. That’s Obamacare.
So, what do you do if you’re a Republican? You pretend Obamacare is evil and that you have some ~!great!~ secret alternative, even when there’s basically no other alternative besides repeal and replace with nothings. Then you get elected on that premise and you’re hands are tied because your solution was imaginary.
So you have some Republican moderates who just want to tinker with Obamacare and gut the few things they really don’t like.
Then you have Breitbart loyalists (i.e. the original Trumpsters) who just want to see Obamacare burn. They hate Speaker Ryan and the most of the establishment GOP. They all applauded today when Senator Rand Paul promised there were at least 35 Republican house votes against the new bill.
The Huffington post’s most recent whip count has 28 Republican congressmen who are almost certain to oppose the bill. Rumors are that the leadership are considering re-opening the bill, but every vote the GOP manages to grab on the right is one they will lose from the center.
The entire Republican message on healthcare was a lie magnitudes larger than “if you like your insurance, you can keep it,” and now they are paying for it.