“We will repeal and replace the disaster of ObamaCare.” That commitment has been a principal mantra for President Trump, second only to “Let’s make America great again!” For that reason, a Republican healthcare plan has been long-anticipated by the party and its voters.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the proposed American Healthcare Act failed before it even got a chance to succeed.
The bill had numerous problems, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s clever but unrealistic “three-pronged approach.” Derided by Sen. Tom Cotton as “political talk,” the proposal would never have flown.
That being said, Ryan still attempted to defend his bill until the end. Ryan authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last Thursday in support of the bill. Ryan called the American Healthcare Act “the boldest and most conservative healthcare legislation to come before Congress in decades.”
He may be right, but the AHCA certainly is not the most conservative piece of legislation imaginable. So, Republicans: Imagine up a new one.
Since the AHCA’s fallout, media reports and many Republicans (including the President) indicate that the GOP is ready move on. The party’s next project is likely going to be tax reform.
Even if the GOP chooses to shift focus in the short-term, we cannot abandon healthcare reform. Ryan’s suggestion that ACA will simply remain “the law of the land” for the foreseeable future is not good enough. Republicans have an obligation to continue fighting to keep this central partisan promise.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a noted opponent of the AHCA, has summarized his position on what comes next rather frankly. “I think legislators can walk and chew gum, hopefully, at the same time, so why don’t we do both?”
Paul’s point is well-taken, and seems like common sense: the GOP should continue with healthcare and tax reform simultaneously.
Anticipating ObamaCare’s repeal and replacement, Ryan wrote, “Republicans have been waiting for this day, and working toward it, for seven years.” If the matter is as salient as he indicates–and it clearly is–then Republicans must continue working on solutions.
Legislating can be extremely difficult, but Sen. Paul is correct. Lawmaking is not shooting at targets from a moving car. Republicans made a rightful stink about ObamaCare and must, for Americans still suffering under it, develop a solution sooner rather than later.