In 45 days Republicans will begin the process of repealing what they see as the ill-conceived policies of the Obama administration.  Number one on the list…President Obama’s signature piece of legislation; the Affordable Care Act.

Ever since Obamacare was enacted into law on March 23, 2010 the Republican Party has gone to extraordinary lengths to bring about its demise.  On 60 separate occasions the GOP floated bills in congress that would repeal the law in its entirety.   None passed. 

Undaunted the GOP lawmakers have been relentless in their criticism of the health care law.  Over these past six years Republicans have labeled the ACA as the single most destructive piece of legislation in the history of the Republic; a job killer that is bankrupting small businesses and killing economic growth.

Not once during this relentless tirade have conservatives offered a detailed plan on what they would offer as a replacement.  The most that we have heard is that they would “remove the lines between the states and allow insurance companies to market across state lines.” (An interesting alternative given that insurance companies are already permitted to market across state lines.  All that is required is the filing of rates, forms and financial statements with the individual state insurance departments.)

President-Elect Trump has promised to: “repeal and replace Obamacare with something much better.”  What that something is has been left to our imagination. 

I have repeatedly written in this space that the GOP has offered no detailed plan for replacing the ACA because they have no plan.  My assumption has been proven correct by no better authority on all matters Republican than the current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

Yesterday Ryan entertained questions on health care.  Regarding Obamacare, Ryan said that there will be a repeal vote early next year.  However the Speaker declined to say how long it would take Republicans to design a replacement so that Americans currently covered by the ACA could transition to the new plan.  “It will clearly take time.”  Ryan said.  “It took them six years to stand up Obamacare.  It’s not going to be replaced come next football season…clearly there will be a transition and a bridge so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off.  The purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare so that they can get something better.”

There’s that phrase again” “something better.” 

What Speaker Ryan said is that the GOP controlled congress will pass a bill to replace Obamacare early next year so that Republicans can get the positive political bump for following through with a campaign promise.  As for a replacement…they have no idea.  It clearly will take time to develop a program and it certainly isn’t going to be done by next football season.

So…taking Republicans at their word…this horrible piece of legislation…a job killing mistake that is killing small businesses and ruining the economy…under Republican rule will be allowed to devastate the economy for an indeterminate period of time while Republicans develop a yet to be crafted plan that will provide something better.

I have to ask…what in the hell have Republicans been doing for the past six years?  Why don’t they have a comprehensive health care plan ready for implantation day one?

Criticizing from the cheap seats is a very easy thing to do.  Going about the actual business of governing is a whole different animal. 

The President-Elect and his conservative congress are about to find that out.

It’s time to govern.




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