The Omnivore has written on this--and should not have to write it again--but an Omnivore Twitter friend who frankly should know better has asserted that the reason the GOP could not repeal O-care is because it was an entitlement--and an entitlement, once given, cannot be retracted!
Is this right? Wrong? Stupid? What?
The Chain of "Logic"In this guy's mind it STARTED like this.
- Obama creates Ocare to help poor (black?) people at the expense of the middle class.
- Ocare passes and immediately wrecks health care in America.
- The good people (him) lose their doctors and their good plans.
- The bad people (poor people) wind up with horrible, too-expensive insurance.
- The whole industry goes into a death spiral.
- WHO CAN SAVE US??
In this view of the world, Obamacare is bad for everyone. But, of course, that doesn't explain #4--if everyone hates Ocare, why not just repeal it and go back to it like it was before?
Seems simple, right?
You Can't Repeal An Entitlement!
It should have been simple. If the above was true then complete repeal would work. Right? But it turns out that #2 isn't actually true. O-care certainly shook things up--and it did make some things worse--but it also made a lot of things better.
In fact, it looks more like this!
- Ocare passes in order to improve coverage--both of the poor and people who have traditionally been unable to access the healthcare market.
- It passes and, hey, it does that. The medicaid expansion works for the poor. The O-care regulations allow people with pre-existing conditions or kids just out of college to get covered!
- OMG! People like that!!
- It's disruptive--Yes, and Obama knew it was coming too. He did lie. Doctors get unkept. Plans get changed. Now: there was always some churn--and this continues--and a lot of it was blamed on O-care--but let's not pretend that O-care didn't cause a lot more change than "doing nothing would have."
- Some people--such as this guy, who REALLY wanted to keep his specific doctor--were badly hurt. They hates O-care like Gollum hates hobbitses. That's fair.
- Despite the benefits being popular, people are caught up on the individual mandate and, well, "Obama"--and it remains unpopular.
- WHO CAN SAVE US?
Now, our guy understands the logic here. If most people are actually liking what it does then it can't be that it just totally sucks for everyone. So . . .
It's Too Expensive--And Failing!!
He recalibrates. The problem isn't the O-care benefits--those are an entitlement people actually want. The problem is the huge tax-burden on the middle class--and, oh, that it's failing!!
In this chain of logic:
- Obama passes O-care delivering stuff people want with some stuff (the mandate, new taxes) people don't.
- BUT--it is too expensive!!
- And it is DESTINED TO FAIL!!
- OMG, IT SUCKS! IT WILL MAKE LIFE WORSE FOR ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE.
- They are okay with blowing the budget for a wall or something--but not for health care.
- Also, what they really want to do is cut 880MM taxes on the 1% that O-care imposes.
- A lot of projections show that O-care can, in fact, continue--especially if there is less uncertainty around the political future of the bill.
At this point, what the guy's logic must mean is that the law is literally unsalvageable. That it could not be fixed in any meaningful way for any reasonable cost (and remember, this is a GOP that is willing to blow a trillion dollar hole in the budget for their other priorities).
Now, he knows that's not logically true. He's even been told (correctly) that other entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid) had similar problems during their roll-outs but they got fixed by congress.
So why is he clinging to this nonsense?
Because the alternative is horrible.
The Real Reason They Couldn't Repeal Obamacare
The reason the GOP couldn't repeal and replace O-care is because it's a conservative solution to start with. You will use healthcare at some time in your life. Making you pay in advance is legit. At least that's what Romney and the Heritage Foundation thought (and this guy considers Romney a great man--so, you know).
Now, O-care DID add some libby stuff in, like making sure they couldn't sell you junk insurance. Ayn Rand is rolling over in her grave, yo. But still--the problem is that the GOP doesn't have a solution that fits their needs because their isn't one.
What they were responding to is a base that desperately wanted to erase every possible legacy of Obama for, uhm, "partisan reasons" (and by "partisan reasons," The Omnivore points you to Mr. Trump refusing to denounce white supremacists at yesterday's Unite the Right march). But you won't hear that on Fox & Friends.
When forced to combine their base's unspeakable (literally--like, you can't say that) with the reality of the impact on their voting populace, they failed utterly.
And what's worse: they can't even explain it to people who don't know.