It is said that a new era begins at the House of Representatives under Congressman Paul Ryan’s rule. However, his first actions have offered nothing new. For instance, he has ‒ yet again ‒ wasted time voting to void the expansion of health coverage. The big difference is that there will be a Republican proposal, if only at the end of the year. This means that they want to take health coverage away from 29 million people by promising that something else will come.
The great change is that, for the first time, one of the over 60 Obamacare repeal bills approved by the House reached the President’s desk, thanks to the fact that the Senate is now Republican. Ryan talks about having an agenda full of specific proposals that will possibly need a Republican president to pass. This means that the House will serve as reinforcement for the GOP this election year. The best would be for them to do their job and legislate, but it seems that they will be busy in 2016 maintaining their record of most unproductive Congress.
At this stage, the visceral hatred that the Republican faction feels against Obamacare is not surprising. The numerous obstacles they threw its way were overcome by the urgent need to protect millions of people who are just an illness away from bankruptcy, financial ruin or death.
The Republican Congress’ obsession with Obamacare is an ideological exercise far removed from reality. The idea that the health insurance plan is crumbling or must be destroyed, as Ryan puts it, is the best example of the Washington bubble in action.
Most states in the nation are implementing Obamacare. There are 10 states with Republican governors that ignored the wishes of their legislators and expanded Medicaid for millions of residents. The federal money can even be used in place of state funds allocated towards health in prisons. That in itself is a great deal. These Republican governors demonstrate that there is a difference between governing well and ideological rhetoric.
Congress members still have their hopes on 20 other Republican governors, mostly from southern states, who would rather have their residents get sick and go bankrupt before accepting Obamacare. That is the best example of the cost of the Republican obsession with the President’s plan.
The new era in the Legislature is just a bad movie we know all too well.