Post-Mortem Opinions: What Went Wrong In The GOP’s Push To Replace Obamacare And Is The Result A Win For Democrats?
Editorial writers across the country continue to examine the how and why behind the dynamics that played out last week on Capitol Hill as Republicans saw their American Health Care Act fail to reach a House vote.
The Washington Post:
Republicans Shouldn’t Give Up On Health Care Just Yet
President Trump’s young administration is not yet at a crossroads, but finger-pointing over the now-tabled Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — will only help the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2020. Instead, conservatives should relish the opportunity to reset the debate. (Michael A. Needham, 3/28)
The New York Times:
Is Obamacare A Lifesaver?
Now that the Republican Party has beclowned itself on health care, now that Obamacare repeal lies in rubble, now that every G.O.P. policy person who ever championed a replacement plan is out wandering in sackcloth and ashes, wailing, “The liberals were right about my party, the liberals were right about my party,” beneath a harsh uncaring heaven … now, in these hours of right-wing self-abnegation, it’s worth raising once again the most counterintuitive and frequently scoffed-at point that conservatives have made about Obamacare: It probably isn’t saving many lives. (Ross Douthat, 3/29)
Los Angeles Times:
I Lost My Seat In Congress Because I Voted For Obamacare. I Don't Regret That Decision At All
President Trump last week pressured Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. If they didn’t, he warned, they would lose their seats in the next election. Speaker Paul D. Ryan ultimately withdrew the bill, where seven years prior, on the same House floor, I voted to pass the Affordable Care Act into law. (Tom Perriello, 3/29)
Lexington Herald Leader:
Republican Surrender On Health Care A Win For Public Protest
Last Friday, the Republicans finally gave up on “repealing and replacing” Obamacare. Their surrender shows the power and effectiveness of public protest. If you doubt that, you should have been in attendance at the previous week’s angry meeting between U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and his constituents in Richmond. It no doubt scared the hell out of the congressman, as have similar encounters with similar congressional delegates across the country. (Mike Rivage-Seul, 3/28)
Lexington Herald Leader:
Blinded By Their Wealth, Trumps Play While Safety Net Burns
Alongside reports about which programs to eliminate for the poor (emergency services? maternity? prescription drugs?) there were the slick photos of Ivanka Trump and her family on the ski slopes of Aspen, reportedly trailed by a hundred Secret Service agents. As Ivanka skied, her unearned, controversial West Wing office vacant, the vote to cut the health-care safety net for 24 million Americans loomed. (Teri Carter, 3/28)
We Don't Know Whether Obamacare Was A Net Gain
There's a new paper out looking at how the Affordable Care Act has transformed health-care access, and in turn, what that has done for health. The authors' first answer probably won’t surprise you: when millions more people became insured, more got checkups and primary care doctors. But it’s not obvious that these people got any healthier. As the paper puts it: “No statistically significant effects on risky behaviors or self-assessed health emerge for the full sample.” (Megan McArdle, 3/28)
California Dodges Health Care Bullet
California dodged a multibillion-dollar fiscal bullet last week when Congress stalled an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act — but perhaps just temporarily. State officials had estimated that California would lose billions under the proposed American Health Care Act that would cap federal spending on Medi-Cal, the state’s health care system for the poor. (Dan Walters, 3/28)