Obamacare Replacement: GOP Set to Leap Before it Looks

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

…just a few notes (from this valuable survey from the WaPo) on the GOP’s rush to act on their ACA repeal bill before they (or we!) know what it will cost and who will be hurt.

As so often, Jonathan Chait offers insightful analysis (I’ll excerpt a few paragraphs, but read the whole piece.):

Trumpcare Is the Culmination of All the GOP’s Health-Care Lies

The Republican Party in its modern incarnation is incapable of writing a decent health-care bill, if we define “decent” to mean both some level of technical competence as well as morally decent. That inability has been clear to the party’s outside critics for many years. Republicans have fervently denied this, and probably believed their own denials. As a result they locked themselves into a course of action that forced them to propose a bill on a deadline. They seem to have realized the impossibility of the task midway through, but, unable to retreat on their commitment, they instead rushed out a plan that is shambolic and cruel.

The best indication of the quality of the plan is that it has drawn almost universal scorn from the health-care-policy community. It’s predictable that experts on the left would dislike Trumpcare. But the right seems barely any more favorable. Conservatives like Peter Suderman, Philip Klein, Bob Laszewski, and Avik Roy, who have spent years savaging Obamacare, are united in their disdain for its replacement.

The national health-care debate began in 2009. Republicans have had eight years since then to draw up and unify around a plan of their own. They have spent this time insisting they could do so easily. For most of the year, in fact, House Republicans have been running a television ad assuring the public they already “have a plan” with wonderful features: “Health insurance that provides more choices and better care, at lower costs. Provides peace of mind to people with preexisting conditions … without disrupting existing coverage.”

Eventually they had told the lie so long it became impossible for them to abandon it. And so Republicans have found themselves frantically scrawling out a hopelessly inadequate solution in order to meet a self-imposed deadline driven by their overarching desire to cut taxes for the rich. “Expanding subsidies for high earners, and cutting health coverage off from the working poor: it sounds like a left-wing caricature of mustache-twirling, top-hatted Republican fat cats,” writes the Republican health-care adviser Avik Roy. The caricature is true.