More Than a Numbers Game
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to table a health care reform bill was a matter of simple mathematics. With Democrats solid against the measure and a few Republicans joining them, McConnell, R-Ky., simply did not have the votes to pass the bill.
But the setback has merely postponed a day of reckoning that must come. And this is one in which “sooner or later” is not applicable. Obamacare, the health care takeover conservatives hope to scrap and replace, is imploding at a rate that places its sustainability in terms of months, not years.
The reason so many lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives were leery of proposals to replace Obamacare is clear. Though opponents cite many concerns, what to do with the Medicaid program is high on everyone’s list. Some lawmakers understand Obamacare’s expansion of the program is unsustainable, and they want to limit future growth. But others worry about how low-income constituents will fare if Medicaid expansion is reined in.
Obamacare simply has to be repealed and replaced. It has hurt too many people to remain in place. At some point, compromises have to be crafted to clear the way for a replacement that can be approved by Congress.
But watering down realistic conservative proposals would mean leaving Americans stuck with the same old Obamacare, just with a different name. Mustering enough lawmakers with the political will to correct the current law’s many flaws is imperative.