It took weeks of debunking, exposing, and analyzing to cut through the grease of what many of us have known all along: Republicans love Obamacare, at least the core elements that destroyed insurance in America. They just enjoyed using Obamacare as a talking point for elections while in the opposition. This revelation should serve as a teachable moment, demonstrating to conservative voters once and for all that Republicans don’t share our values on almost any issue, let alone health care. The entire GOP is a massive scam PAC designed to use conservative issues as a flag to raise money, accrue power, and then sabotage those issues when in power.
Here is the raw truth from Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the House deputy majority whip:
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), a member of House GOP leadership, said Wednesday that conservatives' proposals to reach a compromise on healthcare are a "bridge too far" to win support from colleagues.
And here is an excerpt from his full statement:
GOP chief deputy whip P. McHenry says unwinding pre-ex mandates won’t fly in House, evokes his own experience with insurer discrimination. pic.twitter.com/BwV85Y3u6H
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 5, 2017
There you have it in plain English. The core elements of what made insurance actuarily insolvent and have destroyed health care in America are regarded as sacred by Republicans. Folks, there is no way to bridge that divide within the party.
The sad thing is that Republicans never ran on this platform, nor did they inform us ahead of time that they loved Obamacare. The outcome of many primaries would have been different if they did. Instead, they ran on our views.
The GOP platform reflects the conservative position that government intervention is the source of the severity of the pre-existing condition problem. Between the lack of portability, the government-sponsored tethering of insurance to employment, Medicaid, Medicare, and endless state regulations on the supply side of health care, we are left without a normal market in the health care and health insurance sectors.
The conservative solution to future pre-existing conditions was always wrapped around many of the 20 ideas I’ve proposed to make insurance portable, competitive, work more like life insurance, and lower the cost of health care itself with supply side reforms. The way to deal with current pre-existing conditions was always to isolate and minimize the problem by lowering costs across the board for most people and separating out those with severe health problems in state high-risk pools. Maine has produced a model for invisible high-risk pools that has worked beautifully to lower costs for everyone (hat tip: Dean Clancy). Moreover, by freeing up the rest of the market to make insurance affordable and lower the cost of health care, younger people will pay into the system and do so at a younger age, thereby freeing up more funds to deal with the chronically ill. Yet, we have a party that campaigned on these ideas but never had any intention of following through with them.
To that end, we spent weeks haggling over phony process excuses, administrative arguments, and false promises of a “multi-phased” process — when in reality they never had any intention of repealing Obamacare.
The Freedom Caucus has already made a number of painful concessions. They agreed to keep the Medicaid expansion, some degree of subsidization for the middle class beyond Medicaid, and massive funding for state high-risk pools (even though states should cover it) … so long as the regulations were repealed. And then they even entertained an idea to not repeal the regulations as well, opting for a tenuous scheme of waivers to the states. Yet, that wasn’t enough for the progressive purists in the GOP who represent the true “party of no.” They say no to any whiff of conservatism, and are purist enforcers of Democrat dogma and the bankrupt ideas that got us in this mess to begin with.
Except, we already have a Democrat Party. Why do we need a less intelligent and less articulate version of it? Why do we need an affirmative action track for politicians who can’t win in Democrat primaries and must cater to the remaining half of the country by lying about their values simply because Democrats already locked up the market share of progressive voters?
Isn’t it time for a bold choice instead of a faint and pathetic echo? Isn’t this why so many voters flocked to Trump in the primary?
How ironic that our choices for political representation look a lot like the insurance market in most states!
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct a typographical error in the last paragraph.