The Republicans should stop messing around with health care bills, state their goal clearly and get on with it. They could have a vote and be on to the next subject in a week.
The problem they are having is that they keep trying to create a bill that both takes all the money away, strips the government’s involvement (individual mandates, essential benefits, etc.), gives individuals more control and options and simultaneously continues to provide some acceptable level of care to 20 million people more or less. This is the eat-nothing-and-lose-five-pounds-of-fat-while-gaining-ten-pounds-of-ripped-muscle-without-excercise-in-one-week diet.
What they need to do is state the obvious: They don’t want to help poor people afford health care and they don’t want to increase taxes. Note that I didn’t say they don’t care. I think they do. And by “they” I usually mean the leadership and much but not all of the rank and file. There are several obvious exceptions. They just don’t see it being the government’s role to participate in that kind of help. Some would do away with Medicare and Social Security because they don’t think it is government’s job to do those either. Fine. So bring up the bare bones repeal bill and put it up for a vote. No more pretending. No more forcing Republican congressional members into believing the impossible diet routine. It will probably fail by a dozen or more votes.
Then, they can introduce two bipartisan bills. One will be ACA repair to make Obamacare solid enough to get through a few years. The second will be a rational health care system. It should look at every element and discover how it affects the whole. What are the gaps in the current system (for example, research for common vaccines – not lucrative enough for big pharma, not enough clinical personnel to cover the entire population, payment systems that encourage more treatments over better health, . . .). How to fund it whether by employers, individuals, towns, federal government, something else, a combination? We could devote multiple essays to consideration of the irrational parts of US health care today. Why, when you want to buy a hamburger, can you go to a store, ask about the price and pay the price you are quoted but when you seek medical treatment, not only do you not only get a price quote but you may not know the final cost for months?
And if ACA repeal passes, so be it. There will be another election soon. Just quit screwing around and stop creating more instability in the markets you pretend to be so in love with.