Republicans want to destroy Obamacare — they just don't want you to know


If Republicans maintain control of Congress, the plan is to try yet again to sabotage the American health care system.

Health care costs are already higher than they should be thanks to Trump and Republicans' sabotage of the popular Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

And a new report from Axios shows that if Republicans maintain control of Congress, their goal is to go even further and completely destroy the ACA.

But Republicans don't want to talk about that too much.

"Repeal is like fight club," one GOP operative told Axios, referring to the 1999 movie starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. "First rule is not to talk about it."

According to interviews with lawmakers and aides, Republicans plan to hold yet another vote to repeal Obamacare next year — assuming their party can maintain control of the House of Representatives and possibly pick up some seats in the Senate.

The Axios report mirrors the statements of other Republicans who have admitted their goal is to completely undermine the ACA.

By and large, however, Republicans are avoiding the topic on the campaign trail — while Democrats are talking about health care almost constantly.

In one very close special congressional election in Ohio, Democratic candidate Danny O'Connor has made health care a top issue — and he's been gaining in the polls.

His Republican opponent, Troy Balderson, once voted to kick half a million Ohioans off of their health insurance, and has embraced his recent endorsement from Trump.

Polling also shows Republicans have good reason to be afraid of campaigning on health care.

Voters overwhelmingly trust Democrats over Republicans and Trump on health care, by a 13-point margin (55 to 42). That trust gap widens further to 26 points among women voters (60 to 34), and 22 points (57 to 35) among independent voters.

Republicans' relative silence about destroying Obamacare is a sharp departure from previous campaigns.

Ever since President Obama signed the ACA into law, Republicans have been adamant about destroying his signature piece of health care policy — and have actively campaigned on it.

In 2017, with Republicans controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, the GOP finally had the chance to make good on their threats.

In the end, however, voters adamantly opposed the plan Republicans put forward — and Obamacare was spared because that plan never became law.

A central component of the destructive Republican bill was removing protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Under the bill Speaker Paul Ryan and Republicans pushed through the House of Representatives, "Insurers would be able to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or arthritis – possibly requiring people to pay thousands of dollars extra every year to remain insured," according to Politifact.

The House bill, which no Democrats supported, would have caused 23 million people to lose access to health insurance.

In contrast, nearly 20 million people signed up for health insurance from the time Obamacare was signed into law through 2017.

Further, Republicans wanted to impose an "age tax" on residents aged 50-64 — which would have drastically driven up health care costs for older Americans, according to the AARP.

Even if Republicans don't want to talk about it, voters will remember how Republicans tried to sabotage health care in the past — and how they're still trying to sabotage it to this day.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.