Many GOP lawmakers have campaigned and won elections over the years on the promise to scrap the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature achievement that expanded health insurance coverage to millions of people. But to do it involved taxing wealthy households, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers while extending tax credits to low-income earners — in other words, the kind of stuff Republicans abhor. As frustration among Republicans grows over the party’s failure to scrap Obamacare, one Republican donor decided to sue the GOP -- accusing it of racketeering and fraud.
President Donald Trump seems equally frustrated, taking to his beloved Twitter for a second time in as many days to lash out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, berating him for his failure to marshal enough support to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!” the president tweeted early Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, Trump lashed out at McConnell after the Kentucky Republican appeared to suggest in a speech Monday the president lacks the political experience to understand how Congress works.
“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” McConnell said, according to ABC affiliate WCPO. “I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”
On Thursday, Trump’s main mainstream media ally Fox News joined the president in lashing out at McConnell and congressional Republicans.
“Americans are so sick of these career politicians and their line of work and that’s why they elected Donald Trump,” conservative author, commentator and former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey told Fox Business. “While Congress is dithering about keeping its promise to repeal [Obamacare] President Trump is keeping his promises with rapid-fire speed.”
Hardline Republican anger against McConnell spiked after Senate Republicans failed last month to pass the so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, a watered-down version of a previous Senate bill whose vote was postponed in early July because it didn’t have enough support. But the revised bill didn’t pass after three Republicans opposed it in a dramatic July 28 Senate vote.
So far, the Republicans have offered only legislation that would increase the number of uninsured Americans.
Congressional budget analysts estimated that the “skinny repeal” would have caused 16 million Americans to lose health insurance over the next decade, fewer than the 22 million people estimated to lose their health insurance under the previous Senate bill. The more aggressive American Health Care Act of 2017 that passed the House in May would cause 23 million people to lose health insurance. If the ACA were to be repealed without a replacement, 32 million people would lose health insurance, according to the congressional budget office.
So there you have it: Republicans have offered up four takes on repeal and replace and none of them increase the number of insured Americans or keep the same numbers as Obamacare. As far as finding a way to actually cover all Americans or implement measures to lower the world’s highest prices for health care? Good luck with that under the current political climate.