Republican fail in Obamacare skinny-repeal attempt. Where does that leave the American public?
Last night, well early this morning, the Senate voted to reject a slimmed down version of a repeal to Obamacare by a vote of 51-49, with three Republican senators joining all the Democrats in voting no. Despite the best efforts of Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice-President Mike Pence, Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona sided with the minority party and put a serious dent in the administration’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, a cornerstone of the recent 2016 election campaign.
To the Democrats in Congress, and many Democratic supporters, the dropping of the gavel must have sounded like a victory, a sound that may have been somewhat unfamiliar to them in recent history. The Democrats have seen a good many losses in recent years, so one might not be surprised to see a little celebration.
However, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York offered, “We are not celebrating,” according to an article on nytimes.com. “We are relieved that millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with pre-existing conditions,” he continued.
To the Republican leadership, it must have sounded a little like taps being played. In fact, soon after the defeat was finalized, the Senate took up ordinary business, almost if the loss was the end of an attempt to repeal and replace. Senate Majority leader McConnell said he was proud of what the Republicans tried to accomplish and he regretted the effort fell short.
What did it sound like to the millions of everyday Americans that actually must live under the Obamacare legislation? Most likely many didn’t hear it at all. They were in bed, trying to get a good night’s sleep because they had to get up in the morning and go to work. A few may have been lying awake, wondering how they were going to pay the doctor’s bill they received today. Since they haven’t met their $1500 deductible for the year, the out-of-pocket costs are going to come from the family’s already tight budget. Something, perhaps the family vacation trip, or little Johnny’s orthodontist visit will have to be put off a little longer.
A few others may have heard the final vote as they drove home from their second job at the convenience store or retailer that they had to take to help with Susie’s college tuition. Or maybe to help feed Tommy and his young family since he and the kids had to move back in with them due to losing his job.
Small business owners undoubtedly were left wondering how much longer the increased costs of providing insurance to their employees and the never-ending regulatory paperwork will allow them to remain in business. They know some hard choices will have to be made soon, impacting their lives and the livelihood of their valued workers.
These are the people that said last November, “We need help with healthcare costs!” These are the voters that sent representatives to Washington to do something to help with the skyrocketing premiums, ever-increasing deductibles, and lack of options for truly affordable health care insurance.
So, as you Senators resume your normal daily routines of accomplishing very little of what we sent you to do, take a moment to think about those you represent. Repeal Obamacare, replace Obamacare, fix Obamacare, get the government out of the healthcare business altogether; we don’t really care. We need you to work for us for a change and get something done now. You have done nothing but talk about health care reform for far too long. American workers and business men and women need help.
Voters will remember this in the next elections. Republicans, because you failed to do what we asked, but also Democrats for creating this situation in the first place. We may see a number of new faces tackling the problem in the next few years.