EDITORIAL: Obamacare is the GOP's baby now

The York Dispatch
  • The GOP now has a willing partner in President-elect Trump to repeal the landmark health care law.
  • Republicans could to act swiftly, although what comes next is still being figured out.
  • That being the case, we hope Democrats don’t take a page from the Republican playbook.

For more than six years, Republicans in Congress repeatedly bashed their heads into a brick wall.

Along with a collection of hospital wristbands and photos, Kim Altland holds up an X-ray from 1974 at his North Codorus Township home Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Altland, 47, has undergone more than 60 hospital admissions and 50 surgeries. Born with a congenital disability, the York County man lost his job in 2011 and with it the employer-provided health insurance that helped offset the high cost of his treatment. He got coverage under expanded Medicaid in PA and worries about future health care prospects. Amanda J. Cain photo

They voted so many times to repeal, gut or defund the Affordable Care Act that the final count is by now fuzzy, although the consensus number is somewhere around 60.

Lacking the votes to override a sure-as-sunshine veto, and with no plan to improve the complex yet necessary fix to our broken, out-of-control health care system, the Republicans were essentially stomping their feet and holding their breath.

A responsible parent would have put the cookies back on the shelf, walked the GOP out of the grocery store and given it a time out until it calmed down.

The Republicans are going to have to grow up fast.

The wall is down, and Obamacare is their baby now.

Still firmly in control of Congress after last month’s elections, the GOP now has a willing partner in President-elect Donald Trump to repeal the landmark health care reform.

The end of Obamacare

“Repeal and replace” is expected to be at the top of the Republican to-do list come January, even if the lawmakers aren’t quite sure what a replacement would look like or when it would take effect.

U.S. Rep Scott Perry, R-York County, is among the vast majority in the GOP who want to do away with the Affordable Care Act.

That’s not surprising, since he was among a group of House conservatives who caused a 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013 in a doomed attempt to defund the law.

York voters, legislators prepare for change with Trump

He didn’t have an alternative plan then, and it seems he still doesn’t have one three years later.

Perry said he expects Republicans to act swiftly on their promise repeal the law, although what comes next is still being figured out.

That is, unfortunately, the worrisome party line.

As detested as the Affordable Care Act is in some quarters, most Americans benefit from and favor some aspects of the law, even if they’re not among the 20 million newly insured.

Sixty-five percent of respondents in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey hated the mandate that they carry health insurance or face a tax penalty.

But more than 80 percent were all in when it comes to provisions like allowing young adults to stay on parents' insurance plans until age 26 and eliminating out-of-pocket costs for many preventative services.

Prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of a person’s medical history was favored by 69 percent of those surveyed.

Can Republicans come up with an alternative, as some of them suggest, that keeps the popular parts of the law while doing away with irksome aspects like the mandate, considered the lynch pin of the law?

It looks like we’re going to find out.

That being the case, we hope Democrats don’t take a page from the Republican playbook, scribbled in crayon over all these years.

They cannot obstruct or sit out a process that’s going to happen with or without them. Too much is at stake.

Someone needs to hold the Republicans’ hands while they’re in the store. There’s a lot delicate things in there, and we’re all going to pay if they break something.