The withdrawal of support by two key Republican Senators for the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) has effectively sealed the fate of the partisan effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. Aside from being a political embarrassment for the Grand Old Party and for the Trump administration, Congress and healthcare officials must now decide on the future of Obamacare as the American insurance marketplace faces inflation. As of July 18, four GOP Senators indicated strong opposition to the latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, a legislative effort that is now in its seventh unsuccessful year. For all purposes, the BCRA is now dead in the water, and it represents the second Republican attempt to quash Obamacare, something that the Trump administration has promised along with other dubious projects such as the border wall and Muslim ban.
While the latest attempt at repealing Obamacare was certainly better than the one pushed by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, Members of Congress are starting to realize that the Affordable Care Act has matured to the point that simply repealing it would be disastrous for many American families. Physicians, actuaries, economists, and even Republican governors have agreed that the GOP proposals thus far would eventually result in leaving the neediest patients without adequate healthcare coverage: i.e. low-income families.
The disproportionate harm that the Republican healthcare proposals would have caused moved GOP senators to oppose it; in the case of Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, she strongly condemned the partisan efforts to repeal Obamacare without a sensible replacement, and she called on her fellow Senators to resist such partisan foolishness since it would only hurt her state constituents, who are among the poorest in the nation. Arizona Senator John McCain, a respected member of the GOP, has also called on fellow Republicans to leave Obamacare as is even as President Donald Trump remains committed to repeal.
If anything, Congressional leaders are now considering working together to resolve the issue of exorbitant insurance markets, an unforeseen issue of Obamacare caused by the forces of capitalism that shape the American way of life. The costs of healthcare and policy premiums will continue to increase, which means that the government subsidies of Obamacare will become a greater burden. This is what Congress should be working to improve instead of bickering about partisan attempts to repeal standing law.