Republicans in Congress are heading home to their districts for a spring break. Will they hear again from angry constituents—but this time from zealous supporters angry that they failed to fulfill their seven-year promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare?
Maybe, maybe not. It seems the House GOP, especially, has remedied one of President Obama’s notable shortcomings: Republicans have churned through the ACA so thoroughly and publicly that they have convinced Americans that Obamacare’s pretty good.
It’s polling more strongly than ever, hitting a peak 55 percent approval rating. Americans say they want politicians to improve the existing ACA, not replace it with the failed American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare.
That’s creating obstacles insurmountable, so far, for partisans to attack it with piecemeal changes. Instead, GOP factions are learning the painful complexities of American health care and health insurance—especially how difficult choices and trade-offs are part and parcel of both.
They’re still trying to justify how their proposals would strip health insurance from millions of poor and middle-class Americans while providing huge tax cuts to Big Pharma, medical device makers, tanning salon operators, and the wealthy.
Need more information on some of the changes the Republicans are pondering or arguments about the ACA? Check out these pieces on:
- the fallacy of a “death spiral” for Obamacare, how insurers may profit from it, and how it isn’t a job killer
- past poor performance and high costs of high-risk pools for Americans with pre-existing conditions;
- the effects of disrupting subsidies on Obamacare health markets;
- how letting health insurers sell across state lines hasn’t driven down costs;
- and how slashing Medicaid could have dire consequences for American health care.
For now, Trumpcare hasn’t advanced an iota in Congress. Which isn’t to say that GOP leaders made a commotion over a “2.0 version” that turned out to be DOA.
Let’s enjoy a little break from this contentious and problematic topic, allowing Republicans this key reality to roll around for the next bit: As President Trump, Vice President Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Republicans in the House and Senate move forward to potentially let Obamacare “explode,” or to repeal and replace it, the polls also show the public firmly holds the GOP, not Democrats or Obama, responsible now for what happens with health care. (See the telling graphic above from the Kaiser Family Foundation.)