Republican officials are beside themselves with glee at the prospect of tens of millions losing their health care
They are so excited that this ludicrous lawsuit might just succeed. Sure, it will kill people but that's why it's so good:
Republicans have no real plan to establish a new health care system if the courts strike down the Affordable Care Act before the 2020 election. But plenty of them are rooting for its demise anyway — even if it means plunging the GOP into a debate that splits the party and leaves them politically vulnerable.
After a decade of trying to gut Obamacare, Republicans may finally get their wish thanks to a Trump administration-backed lawsuit. Its success would cause chaos not only in the insurance markets but on Capitol Hill. And Republican senators largely welcome it — even if they don’t know what comes next.
“I’m ready for it to succeed,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). “I would love to get back in and actually deal with health care again.”
“Do I hope the lawsuit succeeds? I do,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). “What I wish is we had some idea where we are going if it does succeed, as it looks more and more like it might.”
Even Republicans not known for taking a hard line are eager for a forcing mechanism to take on Obamacare.
“I have a plan that I would be delighted to have Congress pick up and go forward with,” added Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) of a proposal to protect pieces of the law. “Necessity is the mother of acceptance. I hope that we reach that necessity and that would propel my proposal to see a good deal of support.”
Both Cramer and Romney said GOP discussions were picking up about how to step in if the law falls after a U.S. appeals court indicated last week it could kill all or part of the law, though the Supreme Court would have the final say. Democrats and Republicans are also working on a modest package of bills intended to lower health care costs.
But when it comes to major changes to Obamacare, the parties aren’t talking.
Democratic leaders have no intention of working with the GOP since they want the Affordable Care Act to survive. And there’s no reason to think that Senate Republicans could unify on a replacement to the law after previously failing to do so.
“If it did succeed, I would be very concerned,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) of the lawsuit. “I don’t think there’s a plan in place to take care of individuals who’ve been using the exchanges to purchase their insurance or who have been covered under the Medicaid expansion. I’m just hoping the court doesn’t strike it down.”
Democrats are ready to hammer Republicans if the law gets taken down because of the GOP lawsuit. Democrats took back the House last year in large part because of their focus on health care.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the GOP’s stance “repeal without a replace.”
“Every plan Republicans have put forward has failed to maintain the protections offered under the current law,” he said. “It's pretty simple: If you care about maintaining protections for people with preexisting conditions, you don’t demand they be taken away.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a close Schumer ally, added, “They better do something. If not, this is all on them. This is all on Mitch McConnell."
Narrator: Even if they wanted to, which they don't, they don't know what to do.
Republicans may be wagering that Democrats would jump into negotiations to protect popular provisions in Obamacare and somehow forge a new compromise health care law — all in the heat of the presidential campaign. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said Congress would act immediately on pre-existing conditions if the courts strike down that part of the law.
I'm sure McConnell will put some piece of garbage on the floor and hold a gun to Democrats' heads. The problem is that when the require insurers to cover pre-existing conditions they will also allow insurers to charge whatever they want. So sure, rich people and people with great employer insurance will be able to get coverage. Everyone else will be SOOL.
The exchanges will immediately be dismantled and the Medicaid funding will immediately dry up so that will be that. The suffering would be monumental for tens of millions of Americans. I think that's a feature not a bug. Taking sadistic pleasure at the misfortune of others is now the main organizing principle of the Republican party.
But it’s also possible that the law would simply collapse and Congress play a blame game for months as millions of Americans struggle to deal with the fallout. Republican efforts to create a new law fell short in 2017, and Democrats are not exactly unified on whether to protect Obamacare or embrace a larger role for government like with “Medicare for All.”
Please. Democrats are most certainly unified in protecting Obamacare through any transition to a different plan fergawdsakes!
I know Joe Biden has been fearmongering about this with Medicare for All but he's full of shit. No Democrats will vote to just stop Obamacare with nothing to replace it. Until recently, nobody even thought the Republicans would do that. They have, of course, dived heard first of the side of Trump Mountain so they're excited at the prospect of people dying.
The Democrats may be far gone, but they aren't quite there yet.