After being cajoled repeatedly by the President himself, McConnell has said that for now, the Senate Republicans will simply try to repeal Obamacare without a replacement, which they’ll begin planning again in 2018. This is essentially their nuclear option, and they’re planning to vote on it in “the coming days.”
Admittedly, there will be a two-year delay until the repeal takes place – if the vote is successful, that is – but this is a very dangerous game to play. Without a replacement ready, the costs of repealing the ACA are dire.
According to an independent analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this action would lead to 32 million people losing health coverage by 2026. This includes 19 million who would also lose Medicaid coverage, a social healthcare program designed to support those on very low incomes.
The CBO also pointed out that the cost of healthcare for many ordinary Americans would rise significantly, by as much as 50 percent in the year following the repeal.
One of the genuine problems with the ACA is that the cost of healthcare for the middle-class demographics has risen considerably since it was enacted back in 2010, and Republicans have made this a central tenet of their argument against the law. Simply repealing Obamacare won’t help – it will make things worse.
There have been some calls in recent days on both sides of the aisle to work together on improving the healthcare system. These calls have gone unheeded, and the Republicans appear to be far more interested in scoring political points instead – at a terrible cost to the poorest of Americans.