March 8th, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
President Trump, long at the forefront of intellectual discovery, last week came up with a major finding: Health-care reform is hard. “Unbelievably complex,” in fact.
“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” the president said.
Actually, we all knew. That’s why Republicans’ successor plan to Obamacare, “repeal and replace,” became repeal and delay. That’s why House Republicans kept their draft legislation under guard in a secret, GOP-only “reading room” in the Capitol, so copies wouldn’t leak. That’s why they decided to push the legislation through committees this week only a couple of days after introducing it — and before waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to say how much the legislation would cost taxpayers and how many people would lose health insurance.
And now that Republican leaders in the House have finally revealed their plan, the magic formula turns out to be . . . a cheap knockoff of Obamacare: covering fewer people, charging them more and giving a tax cut to the rich.
Democrats, predictably, panned it because it’s a cheap knockoff of Obamacare, and they prefer the original over imitators. The bigger problem for GOP leaders is that conservatives also panned it because, well, it’s a cheap knockoff of Obamacare.
Outside the Capitol Tuesday afternoon, conservative legislators lined up to denounce the bill.
“A step in the wrong direction,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) likened the “flawed bill” to “horse excrement.”
“Let’s not lower the bar on what we believe simply because a Republican is in the White House,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).
Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-Va.) complained that the bill was drafted “in a cloak of secrecy” and blessed a “new entitlement.”
“Obviously,” deduced Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), “we have some serious concerns.”
The sales effort so far has been wanting. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), defending the legislation on CNN on Tuesday, suggested that Americans, “rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.”