I owe my liberal Democratic friends an apology.
For years they have been saying the congressional GOP was just passing Obamacare repeals for show, and that they didn’t have a valid replacement bill.
I defended them, thinking, naively perhaps, that they really did want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, and that one of the many bills they had proposed would unify the party and it would pass with a Republican majority in Congress and become law with a Republican president’s signature.
It’s clear I was wrong. The congressional GOP seems to have only wanted an Obamacare repeal as a political football for campaigns, much like the Democrats enjoy demagoguing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reforms every two years.
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Both parties are broken and are only interested in self preservation at the ballot box. They no longer work for the benefit of We The People (with very few exceptions).
Make no mistake, President Donald Trump is correct when he says Obamacare is failing. It was designed to. The endgame of the Obama White House and the Democratic Congress has always been single-payer socialized medicine.
The only way to get there is to first destroy or mortally wound the system we had. We are on the way to that destruction now through rising premiums and deductibles and more and more Americans unable to afford private insurance and being forced onto Medicaid.
The Democrats made a mistake when they passed the ACA on a party-line vote, and they are making a mistake now by sitting out this repeal and replace effort. You can’t tackle an issue as big as health-care reform (one-sixth of our economy), without buy-in from both major parties. Otherwise it becomes “their” reform and is doomed to fail over time.
Sometimes compromise requires us to swallow a couple of things we don’t like in order to get a couple of things we do like.
If only there were some adults on both sides of the aisle in both chambers of Congress that could figure that out, and actually do something to provide relief for those of us being squeezed by this current onerous law.
The Democrats are trying to save President Barack Obama’s legacy and the Republicans are trying to save their congressional majorities. Neither seems to be actually trying to save the American health-care system. We deserve better.
J. Brandon Thompson of Columbia is former chair of the Adair County Republican Party and past president of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.