Do Republicans Even Want to Repeal the ACA?

Make no mistake, fellow conservatives; we’ve wasted the better part of the last decade hoping for repeal. From the moment the Affordable Care Act became law, candidate after candidate and one elected official after the other has run on repealing it, “if only we could get control of the House.”

Ok, that won’t actually work. We need the Senate. No, wait. Maybe if we claimed the White House, surely we could scrap the ACA and the odious fines and ever-rising premiums associated with it.

Of course, somewhere between 2009 and 2016, “repeal” morphed into “repeal and replace.” Just like any other government program that offers people something (i.e. dependency upon the government), the Affordable Care Act grew in popularity, and so we couldn’t just toss the whole thing out overnight.

See, now the hooks of the Affordable Care Act had gone too far into too many people, rendering their difficult removal even more painful than the initial puncture wound itself. It’s no surprise that Democrats have turned to such melodrama and hyperbole as saying that Republicans will kill people by passing repeal and replace measures.

President Trump and many Republicans, however, campaigned on repealing Obamacare on day one, until he didn’t, and then he and Republicans prematurely spiked the proverbial football in the Rose Garden when a House bill that kept most of the Affordable Care Act’s most egregious elements in place. To his credit, the President has now called for outright repeal.

Watching this unfold with Republicans in control of virtually every facet of government is not unlike seeing a sports team with vastly more talent choke against an inferior team (think of Golden State blowing a 3-1 series lead against Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals) and then blame that team (the outnumbered Democrats) for the fact that they can’t get out of their own way and get the job done.

Whether we’re talking about Steph Curry and the 2016 Warriors or President Trump, Speaker Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of the Republicans who garnered millions of campaign donations and votes on the premise of repealing Obamacare, the fact of the matter is that nobody wants to hear excuses.

I know I speak for many of my fellow Republicans when I say that this ham-handed effort at repealing the Affordable Care Act constitutes gross incompetence and cowardice. Indeed, one has to wonder if Obamacare has now become such a useful fundraising tool and talking point that some Republicans actually want to see how much longer they can milk it.

Perhaps our new mantra for the 2018 elections can be, “Yes, we have control of the House and Senate, but now we need just a few more seats to really make this happen! We mean it this time!”

I and many like-minded conservatives voted for representatives who we hoped would make every effort to take this grotesque expansion of government down, come what may. What we’ve gotten through most of this first year with Republican control of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, particularly this summer, is one piss-poor Obamacare-Lite measure after another.

The bottom line is this: either Congressional Republicans and the President have the stones to repeal this bill wholesale like they promised, once and for all, or they don’t.