“Exceeded my expectations!” yelped Paul Ryan, at the news that the Congressional Budget Office had scored the Republican Obamacare Plan a disaster.
The review forecast that the GOP plan would result in 24 million people losing their insurance. If you compare that number to the number who got insurance under Obamacare, it’s pretty close to all of them! How could the GOP improve on that?
Repeal and replace! Everybody wondered what that would mean, once the scalpels actually started slicing. The ever-reliable Donald Trump told us it would mean health-care coverage for everyone! Great coverage, at great prices! If you believed that, I have a Trump University degree to sell you. But, in the event, as so often happens with Trump statements, what he promised bore no relation to what was possible, or desirable. But, too late, smart Trump voters! You are on the operating table now, and the scalpels are glinting in the overhead work lights. And when the slicing is done, you will discover that in “repeal and replace,” “replace” is just more “repeal.”
So okay, millions will lose their coverage. What they will gain is some excellent word descriptors, the best. Ryan has called the GOP plan “freedom.” He has also called it “an act of mercy.” Yes, of course. That’s also what they call it when they put your dog down. But that’s not all! It also means tax cuts! And you know what that means. When the Republicans say tax cuts, that means tax cuts for the rich. The rich most definitely think of this as “freedom” and “an act of mercy.” Feel their former pain as you feel your current pain.
Politically, the GOP was in a bind. They’d been promising the impossible, and promising and promising it. They had to choose between their promises and the possible. They chose ideology, and now they are not sure which will be worse, the damage resulting from passing their bill or not passing it. The rubber is now meeting the road, and the road turns out to be up the front and down the back of many of their voters.
Will their voters notice this? The Republicans have grown accustomed to their voters not noticing anything. The current hope is telling them that Obama is still secretly president, and from his cave in the deep state he stole their health coverage and gave it to the terrorists.