Every day for about a year, the line congressional Republicans took on health care was always the same: “repeal and replace.” It’s pretty obvious now that the poll-tested phrase was a sham, and Ed Kilgore’s alternative description is far more accurate: “repeal and reverse.”
Politico reports today that, despite all the talk from the GOP about an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, Republicans haven’t even tried to come up with a health policy. Perhaps more importantly, the L.A. Times added that the GOP now rejects the very idea that they should come with “replacement legislation” that expands health coverage “as much as the current law.”
In other words, Republicans intend to kill the entirety of the law, including the popular provisions Americans have come to expect and rely on, and if they get around to replacing it with anything, GOP policymakers won’t worry too much about whether it leaves millions of Americans with nothing.
The usually mild-mannered Matt Miller is unimpressed (and seems kind of angry).
The party may not have officially adopted the “let him die” policy of right-wing hecklers at that CNN primary debate, when Ron Paul was asked what should be done when an uninsured man shows up at the hospital. But as a practical matter, Republicans are in pretty unsavory territory. […]
Fifty million uninsured Americans would be the immediate casualties of the GOP’s “let them eat the emergency room” mentality. But all of us would be at risk. In America – alone among wealthy nations – everyone is a pink slip or job change or new illness away from finding they have lost coverage or are uninsurable.
This is the shameful reality behind the GOP’s rhetoric on health care. Republicans don’t want to spend a penny to insure the uninsured.
This is demonstrably true. The House Republican plan in 2009 ignored the uninsured, and right-wing governors are blocking Medicaid expansion this year in order to make sure the uninsured stay that way. For generations, the Republican Party at least paid lip service to bringing access to affordable care to those without, but those days are long gone. As Chait recently put it, the GOP is “the only mainstream political party in the advanced world” to believe it’s acceptable to deny basic medical care to citizens based on their wealth.
And for the first time anywhere, this has become a point of pride for 21st century Republicans. If the uninsured were political engaged and voted, the GOP would have a lot to worry about.