Barbara Boland, writing at The American Conservative, explains that while President Trump is working on his own to dismantle Obamacare piece by piece, Congress must fully repeal Obamacare. She writes:
Health care premiums are soaring. If Congress doesn’t grow a backbone and act, they’ll cede the issue to the left forever.
Resting on their “tax reform” laurels, the lethargic Republican majority in Congress seems content to take a summer snooze rather than work to enact the policies they promised the public.
The increasingly strident rhetoric in favor of universal health care preached by the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders and the left’s new darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been met with shrugs from their erstwhile opponents in the GOP.
And that’s worrying, because Obamacare has been failing in a fantastic way, and without action from Congress these voices will be the only offering solutions.
Trump has made a political calculation to gut Obamacare by slowly chipping away at it—which makes a lot of sense, given Congress’s lack of action. One way his administration has done this is by allowing states to lengthen the time that people can remain on short-term health insurance plans. Yet while this appeal to federalism is admirable, it would be a mistake for states to take it up.
The real solution is that Obamacare needs to be repealed and Congress needs to pass an actual comprehensive solution—period.
Obamacare was implemented mainly through executive fiat and a mountain of red tape totaling over 20,202 pages. Its restrictions were disruptive and destructive. With the 2018 reckoning almost upon us and Americans facing fewer and fewer affordable options, the pressure is on Congress to act. They cannot and should not rely on executive orders from Trump to fix this mess. Their job is to legislate and they are not doing it.
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