Health Care: Patients as Political Pawns

Every so often this blog lives up to its name. The attempt by Republicans to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of those times when irony seems to have the last word. For eight years, Republicans have made it their number one priority to strike the law from the books. Now that they are in complete control of Washington, they have every reason to do so, except for one thing: they can’t seem to come up with a better plan.

Critical analysis has shown that the ACA can be improved, but that is not what the Republicans want because providing the best insurance coverage to millions of Americans who, before the ACA were not covered, is not the priority. It is the politics and perception of winning, and in this case the Republicans faced with the overwhelming approval ratings of the ACA, are now forced to play a political shell game to give the illusion that their plan would do more for Americans, when, in fact, as attested to by the CBO and health organizations, it will not.

The basic disconnect here is that the Republicans were as frightened by the ACA as they were Obama winning the Presidency, because many within their base,  who for so long have been bamboozled into believing that the Democrats could do nothing for them, now realized something good indeed has happened that improved their lives. Of course, this shook the Republicans at their roots, whose only strategy has been to sew fear and lift not a legislative finger while railing against same-sex marriage and immigration. Suddenly, the AFA provided the distinct possibility that many of the 22 million insured by the ACA may covert to Democrats.

The result has been that the Senate has not been able to agree on any legislation that would replace the ACA, but still that body is desperate to agree on something to bring to the House in an attempt to pass a ACA replacement bill and sell it to the America people as being better than its predecessor.

Instead of running this ruse on the American public that it will replace the ACA with something better, Republicans would be more dignified to just lay its conservative cards on the table and say that providing publicly-subsidized health insurance to all Americans is not the role of government. However, because it is really not health care issues that concern Republicans, but instead protecting their political interests, they can only, ironically, try and win at the same game the Democrats bested them in eight years ago.



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