The Republicans have again voted to repeal Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), but this time they did so through a reconciliation measure that allowed the Senate to avoid a filibuster.
It wouldn’t actually repeal the ACA word for word, but it would merely defund it. Things like a bar against discrimination for pre-existing conditions would remain, but healthcare subsidies for everyone from the working poor to the middle-class would evaporate. The mandate would remain, but would become toothless.
What if Obama signed the bill (leaving aside the part of it that would eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood)?
According to the bill, some provisions are repealed effective immediately, while others like the subsidies and tax credits are only effective as of 2018. So, at least there wouldn’t be outright chaos as millions of people tried to figure out if they still could afford coverage in 2016.
But there would be a major campaign against the GOP from the medical establishment, including doctors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies. If the repeal went through, it would be perhaps the best medicine (other than laughter) for the GOP: finding out what happens, Larry, when they fuck millions of strangers in the ass.
Of the many times the GOP has tried to repeal Obamacare, they have not once had any chance of success. But now, all it takes is a single signature by the president to show them all how ridiculous, how idiotic they really are.
Of course Obama will not sign the bill. And for good reason. But if he did, it would poison the GOP. They would be driving the porcelain schoolbus for the rest of the year, into 2017 and beyond. Their stump speeches would be accompanied by puke breaks with little elephant-emblazoned barf bags.
The thing is, nobody in the GOP really wants the ACA repealed. Not the GOP, who love the thing. They think it’s a key issue to voters. They think it has legs. The only thing the GOP is doing through its continuous, bizarre crusade is to force the democrats to act as though the ACA is anything more than a mediocre attempt at healthcare reform.
The ACA isn’t horrible, but it’s a far cry from what the American people deserve in reform. It’s a step in the right direction, but the race is a marathon. And the GOP is calling for America to call it quits, sit on the couch, and watch a rerun of Andy Griffith.