Thoughts On What Happens Next: Will The Health Law Die On The Vine Or Will Bipartisanship Come Into Vogue?
Opinion writers examine what might happen to Obamacare and the challenges that lie ahead.
The Washington Post:
Trump’s Rage Over His Health-Care Fiasco Could Hurt His Own Voters. Here’s How.
President Trump has convinced himself that the Affordable Care Act is collapsing of its own accord, and once it does, Democrats will fall on their knees before him and grovel for a deal in which they will help remake the health-care system on Trump’s own terms. As his new tweet on the topic puts it: “The Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds — not long.” Thus, the GOP health-care fiasco will be miraculously transformed into a Trump victory. But despite all the bravado, what’s really happening now is that the failure to pass the GOP repeal-and-replace plan has ensnared Trump and Republicans in a trap. (Greg Sargent, 3/28)
Trump Can Still Wreck Health Care
In his very first executive order, directing federal agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" various parts of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump stated his intention to repeal the law. Two months later, with that effort in shambles, the order has become the administration’s entire game plan on health care. That’s not only inadequate, but reckless. With no Republican replacement for the ACA on the horizon, every step taken to weaken the individual insurance market and Medicaid risks destabilizing a health-care system in need of reinforcement. (3/28)
The Washington Post:
How Trump Can Make Obamacare Work Without Changing The Law
“Enforce 1402! Enforce 1402!” That’s what those who want to head off President Trump’s sore-loser vow to let the Affordable Care Act “explode” should be chanting — perhaps at rallies in front of the Department of Health and Human Services. (Steven Brill, 3/28)
San Antonio Press-Express:
Out Of The Ashes, Real Health Care?
The House GOP’s epic failure to repeal and replace Obamacare last week is being viewed mostly through a political lens — which party is up, which is down; what GOP faction is up/down; and how damaged President Donald Trump is as a result. But there is a better way to look at this — through a bipartisan lens that puts American health care consumers first. (3/28)
Heresy! McCain Touts Dirty C-Word (Compromise)
When the repeal and replace plan for the Affordable Care Act failed in the House of Representatives President Donald Trump didn’t call of meeting of all the interested parties, including Democrats, to find some middle ground. Instead, he headed to Virginia to play golf. (EJ Montini, 3/28)
Health Care Will Be Back, So The AHCA’s Surcharge Needs To Be Fixed
The failure to move forward with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House of Representatives seems likely to postpone legislative activity on repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for some period of time. Still, it is premature to assume health care legislation won’t be brought up again this year; there is too much instability in the individual insurance market under the ACA to expect the problem to resolve itself without a significant policy intervention. (James C. Capretta and Tom Miller, 3/29)
How Not To Fix Obamacare's Problems
With Obamacare repeal efforts by Republicans dormant for now, there's lots of hopeful talk about how the Trump administration and bipartisan groups in Congress may push to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act. Experts have ideas about what can be done to stabilize the ACA's individual insurance markets and enable states to better control Medicaid costs. These include steps to encourage more young, healthy people to sign up for insurance, while discouraging people from enrolling only when they need medical care, then dropping coverage. (Harris Meyer, 3/27)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Republicans Can Still Harm Obamacare Through Neglect
In a 2010 speech at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, less than a year after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, conservative legal scholar Michael Greve summed up the game plan for opponents of the law: “This bastard [the Affordable Care Act] has to be killed as a matter of political hygiene. I do not care how this is done, whether it’s dismembered, whether we drive a stake through its heart, whether we tar and feather it and drive it out of town, whether we strangle it.” It may seem surprising that Republicans, after seven years of righteous anger, have failed to repeal and replace the ACA. (Philip Rocco, 3/28)
Trump's Plan B On Health Care Is Just As Shabby As His Plan A
Ah, but there's been a Plan B all along! And it's every bit as morally repellent and politically obtuse as Plan A, which would have knocked an estimated 24 million people off their health care policies, weakened the coverage provided by existing insurance and implemented a massive tax cut to benefit mostly higher earners. "I've been saying for years that the best thing is to let Obamacare explode and then go make a deal with the Democrats," Trump told the Washington Post on Friday when it became clear that Republican party infighting had left the administration short of the votes needed to pass what late-night host Seth Meyers calls "the least popular bill since Cosby." (Eric Zorn, 3/28)