On January 8, 2016, Barack Obama vetoed a bill called “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015”. This legislation, if passed, would have repealed the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).
The Republicans in Congress attempted many times to repeal Obamacare. It was about a year before Obama left the presidency that a bill appeared on his desk that he vetoed.
There is no question that the Democrats in Congress, along with Obama, are responsible for having passed the disastrous bill that essentially requires the purchase of health insurance. But both major parties are responsible for the overall calamity in medical care and health insurance in the country.
And while the Republicans have put on a unified front against Obamacare, it seems that things might have changed a bit. Now that Donald Trump occupies the White House and the Republicans maintain a majority in the House and Senate, many congressional Republicans are all of a sudden becoming more timid about a full repeal of Obamacare.
From a libertarian standpoint, I think Trump’s fighting against the spy agencies and the lying establishment media are important. Trying to stay out of war with Russia is extremely important. Still, on the domestic front, there is probably nothing more symbolically important than repealing Obamacare. Of course, it is important in substance too. But if you offered me a $1 trillion cut in federal spending or a repeal in Obamacare, I would take the cut in federal spending.
The thing with Obamacare is that it is a campaign promise by Trump and the Republicans. While Trump is doing battle with many in the GOP establishment, the repeal of Obamacare was supposed to be one unifying front against the Democrats. If the Republicans fail to repeal this, they are going to come out looking really bad, as they should.
While I think Trump should continue to stand up to the liars who are trying to take him down (including many in the Republican camp), he needs to stop being distracted by the smaller things. He is expending too much effort and political capital on immigration bans and keeping jobs in the United States. The issue of keeping jobs in the U.S. is just bad economics. And even if it were a legitimate battle, there isn’t much Trump can do about it anyway that wouldn’t devastate the economy in other ways.
Trump needs to start focusing on repealing Obamacare. It is a campaign promise. If he pushes it, and the Republicans in Congress fail to reproduce what they did a year ago, then they are going to look really bad. Trump won’t look as bad as long as he is convincing that he wants repeal.
We have heard the phrase “repeal and replace” for many years now, but we never hear specifically on what replace means. If there is a replace part, it should be to free up the market. If it is only a partial repeal of Obamacare, or tinkering around the edges, then I don’t think the citizenry will be fooled by this. They are going to expect a full repeal, or something very close to it.
If there is ultimately no repeal, I think the Republicans will lose their majority in Congress in two years. It’s not that most Republicans will vote for a Democrat. It’s just that some Republicans will decide to stay home on the day of the election.
I have my doubts about whether we will see a full repeal. It is quite telling that it has even taken this long, even though we aren’t even a month into Trump’s presidency. Still, there is no reason that the Republicans in Congress and Trump couldn’t have had something ready to go in January.
This is a real issue that impacts middle class America. It is also a symbolic issue about the principles and honesty of Republican politicians in Congress. It will be a good test. So far, it isn’t looking good for them.