Now that a few days have passed since the failure of the Republican “health care” bill that was intended to repeal and replace Obamacare, I think it’s safe to say that there’s a general mix of feelings about its failure.
On the one hand, I really wanted Obamacare gone. I mean, this is one of the very few points on which I agree with Trump: Obamacare is probably one of the worst pieces of legislature in American history, and it’s almost certainly the most un-American law we’ve seen passed in my lifetime. Through Obamacare, the federal government can not only require me to purchase a product from an insurance company and then fine me literally thousands of dollars if I don’t (which was later reduced to $600 for most people), but it can, in certain circumstances, dictate which doctor(s) I see and what kind(s) of treatment I can receive. And people are paying thousands of dollars for this, with three-thousand-dollar deductibles. The whole thing is a complete disaster.
Yes, Obamacare did bring medical insurance to about twenty thousand previously uninsured people, which is obviously a good thing. But it did it by raising the cost of my insurance beyond what I can pay, which in the end left me uninsured, and then it fined me for being uninsured - and it did this to many others, too. In this country, the government isn't supposed to simply get whatever it wants by flailing it out of the populace - especially when a clear majority of the American people opposed Obamacare in the first place.
When Obamacare first passed, there was open talk about taking up arms against the government. Although most of that talk was knee-jerk hyperbole, I think it’s easy to see why so many were upset at the federal government’s overreach. People were starting to bring their AR15s to political rallies, and it's not much of a stretch to assert that Obamacare had a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump, who promised outright to repeal and replace it immediately.
Unfortunately, there’s another side to this hundred-billion-dollar coin. The bill the Republicans came up with to replace Obamacare, the “American Health Care Act”, was a piece of shit. All we needed was to repeal the individual mandate, repeal the penalty for not being insured, and find a way to get premiums back down to where they were before Obamacare, which could have been done by establishing a ceiling, which can be adjusted by location and condition, etc. But without that individual mandate, that socialist shitball law that forces me to literally, outright pay for someone else’s wellbeing, the federal government couldn’t force the states to assure insurance coverage for the twenty million who got their insurance through Obamacare, so the whole replacement scheme fell apart. Millions of people would’ve lost their insurance coverage, and there was nothing in the bill that would’ve reduced insurance premiums. It dropped the individual mandate, but then there was no replacement mechanism to keep the insurance ecosystem alive.
In the end, the Republicans couldn’t get enough votes from their own party to justify bringing the bill to a floor vote, so they killed it. The bill they brought was an amateurish and incomplete mess, and it failed miserably.
Where do I stand on all this? There’s no way to be happy, either way. I sure didn’t want that Republican non-care bill to pass into law, but of course that means we’re stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.
Eventually, I think the states will decide for themselves what kind of system they want, and the difference between the states will be like the difference between some countries. In places like Texas and Alaska, Obamacare will fail, because not enough people are paying enough into the system to support the system’s recipients. But in more socialist-leaning states like New York and California, the Robin Hood taxation systems already in place will keep the collectivist dream alive well beyond its useful life.
In the end, the American people are stuck in an Obama-induced minefield of political and socioeconomic mistakes. I don't think we'll ever go back to the system we had before the election of Barack Obama, and in many regards, we'll never be free of Obamacare. Like Social Security, it's a piece of socialist collectivism we'll be stuck with for generations, even after it's clear that it CAN'T work as advertised without being propped up by forced taxation. But this Republican attempt at repeal and replacement was a great way to just make it even worse.