Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Obamacare "Repeal And Replace" Perils

(click on image to enlarge)

(Stuart Carlson, via

They’re going to be like the dog that caught the bus... They’re going to be so stuck. I look forward to them marching into that issue. They will regret the day they did it.” -- Sen. Charles Schumer on likely Republican plans to "repeal (now) and replace (later)" Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).

The dog that caught the bus, Part I:
Republicans who think their “repeal and delay” strategy for Obamacare won’t cause serious and immediate insurance disruptions should read a new report that came out early Wednesday morning. 
The report, from the nonpartisan Urban Institute, predicts that state insurance markets will start to unravel almost immediately and that, as early as next year, the ranks of the uninsured will begin swelling. And if Republicans can’t come up with a replacement, the report says, the number of people without insurance could eventually rise by 20 million to 30 million people.
The dog that caught the bus, Part II:
The hospital industry has a warning for President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders: Eliminating the Affordable Care Act without first crafting a “replacement” would create major hardships throughout the health care system. 
Hospitals traded billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts for expanded health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, reasoning it would be good for hospital finances to have fewer uninsured patients who don’t pay for their care. Congressional Republicans are leaning toward a plan that would repeal the law early next year, but delay enacting a new system for up to three years. 
That won’t work, according to two influential hospital lobbying groups.
If the stakes weren't so high and the prospects so uncertain, we'd be wallowing in schadenfreude right now.  As it is, there's a kind of grim awareness of the mindless damage that these Republican "dogs" can do to millions of Americans and the system that serves everybody -- all in the name of fulfilling a pledge to their propaganda- fed, drooling base. The challenge is this: any and all efforts by these "dogs" to undercut the Affordable Care Act, "reform" Medicare/ Medicaid, or other paleo- right fever dreams have to be resisted at all costs not because they're Democratic programs, but because lives are at stake -- although apparently not the lives Republicans value.  Progressives have to out- message and out- fight the "dogs" better than they've ever done before, so we don't allow this (h/t Steve M., again):

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