Halfway through his first 100 days, President Trump has wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. From Executive Orders to the controversial travel ban, Trump’s quick-moving agenda has raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers of both sides of the aisle. This past week was no different.
After years of stumping on repealing and replacing Obamacare, the time has finally arrived. Initially for Republicans, this opportunity seemed to be a dream come true, but was it? Earlier last week, Republicans unveiled their replacement plan of Obamacare.
The plan released was supposed to be a better solution to the abysmal Affordable Care Act and includes capping federal dollars for Medicaid starting in 2020 and replacing subsidies with tax credits based on age. The reviews are a mix between cheers and jeers, depending on whom you ask and Trump has found himself hitting his first major roadblock in Congress.
While the American Health Care Act looks more like a repackaging of Obamacare, the ability for Congress and Trump to work through their current relationship issues over their disagreements on Obamacare’s replacement. The argument for some is that the American Health Care Act is merely a rearrangement of the spots on a leopard and calling it a cheetah.
On Thursday, the GOP health care plan moved closer to a full House vote, but the opposition to the bill remained strong. Currently, it is unclear whether the proposal, if it makes out of the House, will be able to clear the Senate. Republicans only hold a majority by 2 seats and are hanging their hopes on a fast-track legislation procedure full of limitations.
With Trump holding down Twitter, the GOP on the Hill are working overtime to ensure this big ticket item, which they have built campaigns around for the last seven years, goes through and eliminates a flawed health care system once and for all. After all, 2018 is around the corner and if Republicans get this replacement wrong, the constituents will have another chance to drain the swamp.
The looming fear on both sides of the aisle is that many people will lose their health insurance and drive up costs. (READ: Same health care plan, new name.) Nodding in approval is the medical community. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan is playing defense and assuring everyone these are growing pains and the GOP is keeping their promises.
To many Americans, watching Congress try to replace Obamacare is about as gory a Freddy Kruger flick and, sadly, they have more to lose than anyone in D.C. But, for Trump, it has given the press something else to focus on instead of his possible ties with Russia. At the end of the day, it is safe to say, Republicans need to go back to the drawing board and try again with an Obamacare alternative, because, as it stands now, they are in jeopardy of merely replacing one failed health care system with another one. Only this time, Republicans will not be able to point the fingers at anyone but themselves.