Ever since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law two years ago, the Republican talking point has consistently been “Repeal and Replace.” This phrase has been uttered so much and has been the source of so many bland banners, you’d think each Republican attempt at repealing the law would be accompanied by a replacement health care bill.
Wednesday, House Republicans voted for the 33rd time to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The entirely original “Repeal Obamacare Act” (the “Beating a Dead Horse Act” was apparently used for the 17th try) strips away all of the protections, benefits, and expansions of coverage that the law provides.
Thankfully, this attempt, like the ones before it, is dead on arrival in the Senate and will definitely not make it past the President’s desk. Less than two weeks removed from the Supreme Court upholding the law as constitutional, this move amounts to nothing more than a political ploy. Just so happens that this ploy could cost millions of people health coverage.
But hey, what about that replacement package? The GOP has tried to repeal the law more than 30 times, so they should have cooked up something pretty good, right? Well, if they have, they’re really good at hiding it. We’ve seen zero replacement packages to accompany the 33 repeal votes. We haven’t really seen any proposals from Republicans on how to fix our health care system. It’s obvious now that this mythical “replacement” doesn’t exist and the GOP’s repeal attempts are more about trying to stick it to their political opponents.
That first step towards change is always the hardest. Here’s the good news, though: With the Affordable Care Act, we’ve already taken that first step, and it’s a pretty huge one. We’re leaving the days of millions lacking adequate health coverage and insurance companies discriminating against women and those with pre-existing conditions in the rear view. Why turn back? It’s time for GOP lawmakers to join the rest of the country in implementing the reform that we desperately need.