In short, in the individual market at least, Obamacare is already dead. Welcome to Trumpcare.
What does that mean? It means that whatever happens from here on out, the Republicans own every bit of it. They have created and fed this uncertainty, they have sabotaged the market, they have refused to even consider the relatively small fixes needed to update the current system. More importantly, with total control of the House, Senate and White House, they have unfettered power and responsibility. By this time next year, there will be no excuse whatsoever for not having their “better way” up and running so voters can render judgment in the 2018 midterms.
And they won’t. The House GOP “plan” released by Speaker Paul Ryan this week amounts to little more than a wishlist that the House itself is unlikely to pass. More than a month ago, Trump claimed that his transition team was close to completing its own plan, and would announce it as soon as the Senate confirmed U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia as secretary of health and human services.
“We’re going to be submitting — as soon as our secretary’s approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan. It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially simultaneously,” Trump said. “Probably the same day, could be the same hour.”
Price was confirmed at 2 a.m. on Feb, 10, but there’s still not the slightest hint that a Trump plan exists or is even being drafted. They are caught in a funhouse mirror of their own devising, with no idea which way to turn or where the exit might be.