Republicans are openly saying they want millions of Americans to lose their health coverage while cheering on the Texas lawsuit contending the ACA's constitutionality, but once again, after nearly ten years of trying to destroy the law, the GOP still has no plans to replace it heading into the 2020 elections.
After a decade of trying to gut Obamacare, Republicans may finally get their wish thanks to a Trump administration-backed lawsuit. Its success would cause chaos not only in the insurance markets but on Capitol Hill. And Republican senators largely welcome it — even if they don’t know what comes next.
“I’m ready for it to succeed,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). “I would love to get back in and actually deal with health care again.”
“Do I hope the lawsuit succeeds? I do,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). “What I wish is we had some idea where we are going if it does succeed, as it looks more and more like it might.”
Even Republicans not known for taking a hard line are eager for a forcing mechanism to take on Obamacare.
“I have a plan that I would be delighted to have Congress pick up and go forward with,” added Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) of a proposal to protect pieces of the law. “Necessity is the mother of acceptance. I hope that we reach that necessity and that would propel my proposal to see a good deal of support.”
Both Cramer and Romney said GOP discussions were picking up about how to step in if the law falls after a U.S. appeals court indicated last week it could kill all or part of the law, though the Supreme Court would have the final say. Democrats and Republicans are also working on a modest package of bills intended to lower health care costs.
But when it comes to major changes to Obamacare, the parties aren’t talking.
Democratic leaders have no intention of working with the GOP since they want the Affordable Care Act to survive. And there’s no reason to think that Senate Republicans could unify on a replacement to the law after previously failing to do so.
“If it did succeed, I would be very concerned,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) of the lawsuit. “I don’t think there’s a plan in place to take care of individuals who’ve been using the exchanges to purchase their insurance or who have been covered under the Medicaid expansion. I’m just hoping the court doesn’t strike it down.”
Democrats are ready to hammer Republicans if the law gets taken down because of the GOP lawsuit. Democrats took back the House last year in large part because of their focus on health care.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the GOP’s stance “repeal without a replace.”
“Every plan Republicans have put forward has failed to maintain the protections offered under the current law,” he said. “It's pretty simple: If you care about maintaining protections for people with preexisting conditions, you don’t demand they be taken away.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a close Schumer ally, added, “They better do something. If not, this is all on them. This is all on Mitch McConnell."
Healthcare is the one area where the Democrats win hands down, and if the GOP lawsuit does win and SCOTUS blows up the ACA, it's all on the Republicans. They'll never be able to put a plan together in time.
And millions will suffer, a lot of them Trump voters.
We'll see if that's enough to shock them out of their racism...but I doubt it.