Forget repeal and replace. Now Republicans just want to repeal Obamacare and not even bother pretending they have something better.
Despite years of threats — and dozens of votes — to repeal Obamacare, the Republican Party has no idea how to replace it with something better.
In fact, their replacement plan is infinitely worse. It would kick millions of Americans off their coverage and gut critical programs like Medicaid — all to give more than $500 billion in tax cuts to the rich.
So new plan: Forget about coming up with something better. Just go for, in the words of Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, "maximum repeal." That's the pitch the Republican senator made on Friday's "Fox & Friends."
.@bensasse: I'm looking for maximum repeal and then a real replacement bill pic.twitter.com/goNhfRxouI
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) June 30, 2017
SASSE: So I want maximum repeal, however much repeal we can do under this arcane budget reconciliation rules. And then I want to have a conversation about real replace.
To date, we've been trying to do those two things at once and not been making enough progress. I still hope that process could work, but most people are leaving DC today to go home for the Fourth of July weekend, and so if we don't get this resolved by the Monday of the next week — July 10th — if there isn't a combined repeal and replace plan, I'm writing a letter to the president this morning, urging him to call on us to separate them.
Every Republican in the U.S. Senate, except for one, has already voted for repeal in the past. Let's do that first. If we can't do them together, let's do as much repeal as we can and then let's have the president ask us to cancel our August state work period and stay here and then work on replace separate.
Sasse isn't wrong. His fellow Republicans have voted over and over and over again through the years to replace Obamacare, even without having any plan to replace it. And has been shown over and over and over again, that would be a disaster.
In January, the Congressional Budget Office reported that simply repealing Obamacare would force 18 million people to lose their coverage almost immediately, and that number would grow significantly over the next decade. Premiums would double.
But since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cannot get members of his own party to agree to the also-disastrous "replacement" plan, it seems his party is willing to go back to its old idea of simply getting rid of Obamacare without even pretending to have something better for the American people.
And Donald Trump, after watching Sasse's appearance on Fox, is apparently on board.
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
For nearly eight years, Republicans have run on a singular platform of opposition to President Barack Obama and everything he accomplished for the American people — especially the amazing Affordable Care Act, which gave millions of Americans access to affordable health care that they'd never had before.
Now that Republicans control the White House and Congress, they are finally in a position to make good on their threats to undo Obama's legacy. But the problem is, that's all they ever wanted. They never had any idea how they would make health care even better for America — because that was never their real concern.
And now, because it seems they cannot get enough support for their so-called replacement plan, it seems they're willing to stop pretending that improving health care in America was ever really the point.