The Senate GOP tax reform bill will now include a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate which required most Americans to have some form of health coverage otherwise they would receive a tax penalty. This decision is yet another step by Republicans to essentially gut the Affordable Care Act by allowing it to implode.
The decision means that Republicans, yet again in 2017, will attempt to gut a key element of the Affordable Care Act. So far, such efforts have failed because not enough Republican senators have backed the idea of repealing the mandate, which would lead to an estimated 13 million more people lacking health insurance.
Michael Hiltzik argues in the Los Angeles Times that the real reason the GOP is so hell-bent on repealing Obamacare is so it can pay for the tax cut they want to give to the rich.
People wondering why Republicans are so hell-bent on repealing Obamacare even though that would cost 20 million Americans their health insurance haven’t been heeding the old investigator’s maxim to “follow the money.”
The path leads to the Affordable Care Act's tax provisions, and the discovery that repeal would provide the wealthiest taxpayers with an immediate tax cut totaling $346 billion over 10 years.
The New York Times Editorial Board also urged members of Congress not to listen to President Trump and "let Obamacare fail," but rather to step in and save Obamacare before it is too late.
But Mr. Trump is determined to disrupt Obamacare. Before this order, he threatened to stop making subsidy payments to insurers, which forced many to raise rates for 2018. His administration has shortened the A.C.A. open enrollment period during which people can buy coverage for next year. Funding aimed at helping people enroll — like money for advertising and health navigators — has been slashed.
Not everyone believes Obamacare should be saved. David Harsanyi argues in the New York Post that Republicans should not seek a "bipartisan solution" to Obamacare, but should instead make Democrats own their failure.
Democrats unilaterally shoved through the system a wide-ranging national restructuring of a vital part of the economy. It was an effort that blew up dozens of governing norms and was built on a giant lie, a manipulated Congressional Budget Office score and a process that, outside a few Kabuki theater hearings and technical amendments, ignored half the country while coercing every citizen’s participation. In fact, many of the people being asked to bail out Obamacare warned that Obamacare would need bailing out... So what do conservatives gain in these “bipartisan” efforts.
Conservatives also argue that Obamacare will only expand its reach and veer dangerously close to a single-payer system if Republicans give Democrats too much negotiating power.
Liberals like to argue that allowing Obamacare to fail would bring a single-payer closer to reality. Well, it is just as likely that prolonging Obamacare’s lifespan would help single-payer, as the next Democratic administration will surely continue to expand the reach of the law. (Unlike the GOP, Democrats don’t shy away from incrementalism.) If Republicans truly believe Obamacare has harmed America, there is no upside in fake bipartisanship.