Republicans find out they have nowhere to hide

GOP Health Plan

On Monday night and Tuesday, the latest Republican Senate scheme to repeal the Affordable Care Act but not replace it for two years, went down in flames. Republican Senators including Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Shelley Moore Capito came out against moving the plan forward in the Senate, effectively killing this version for now.

Republicans are learning a powerful lesson: the obstructionism that worked for them when they did not control all three branches of government does not work when they do.

The Republicans’ relentless opposition to anything proposed by Democratic President Barack Obama fit within their scorched-Earth anti-government philosophy.  For example, in December 2015, after numerous attempts, Senate Republicans passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans followed suit the next month. However, Republicans knew this was a free, symbolic and meaningless vote, as President Obama was certain to veto their bill (which he did) and they did not have the votes to override his veto.

Now, however, the equation has changed with a Republican in the White House, as well as GOP control of all branches of government. The Republicans’ failure to deliver on any of their promises, whether it’s healthcare, Donald Trump’s border wall (which he promised would be paid for by Mexico) or otherwise, is seen as just plain GOP failure to govern. As for the Affordable Care Act, more Americans like their ACA coverage every day, especially as they learn more about the protections they have (such as coverage of pre-existing conditions at non-discriminatory prices). In contrast, the various Republican Trumpcare proposals are dismally unpopular. Apparently, even folks who have issues with parts of the ACA don’t want to go back to the horrors of Bushcare, when insurance companies sharply raised rates, charged exorbitant premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, and even denied or dropped coverage of such people altogether. And speaking of George W. Bush, the last time the GOP controlled all branches of government was during his administration, which resulted in the catastrophic failures of the Great Recession and the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.

Republican philosophy, meet sunlight.

Photo by Mike Licht, used under Creative Commons.

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