Scott Lemieux, THE WEEK March 7, 2017
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan finally introduced his proposed replacement for ObamaCare late Monday. It did not go well.
Democrats were predictably appalled that the GOP proposal, called the American Health Care Act, would essentially take away health care from millions of people, many of them poor, in order to pay for upper-class tax cuts. Moderate Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) summed up the feelings of the Democratic caucus when he declared that the bill's savage cuts to Medicaid were a "disgrace to our nation" and that "I will fight it with everything I have."
But there was never a chance that Democrats would support any major Republican changes to the Affordable Care Act. So what's really interesting is the amount of opposition that the bill has instantly generated among conservatives.
If Democrats see taking away poor people's health care to pay for things like tax breaks for health insurance CEOs as cruel, the American right sees it as not cruel enough. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asserted that the bill was "dead on arrival." The far-right Freedom Caucus in the House was no more enthusiastic. Conservative health policy wonks attacked the bill. And major conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Club For Growth, FreedomWorks, and the CATO Institute immediately came out swinging against "RINOCare."
What explains the depth of conservative opposition? One possibility is that we should, as Marco Rubio might put it, dispel with the myth that Paul Ryan knows what he's doing. While some grumbling from House conservatives was inevitable, it's odd that he couldn't get buy-in from conservative organizations for a replacement plan. On its face, everything about this botched rollout seems like gross political incompetence.
Another, and perhaps more plausible, answer is that Ryan couldn't possibly be this inept. He didn't get his allies on board for a simple reason: He doesn't actually want any major repeal plan to pass. READ it Here
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