Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren were smiling and taking celebratory selfies with protestors after the defeat of the Republican “skinny bill” to repeal Obamacare. There is no reason for joy because the ACA is on death’s door and those celebrating the Senate’s defeat will soon be “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Ironically John McCain risked his life in returning to Washington and drove a stake into the heart of the repeal Senate’s effort. What is baffling to me is the fact that this bill was far from a final product. It was to be debated in committee and then submitted for a final vote before becoming law. Like little Charlie Gard, this bill was not allowed another chance at life. American politics has become a battlefield where each side applauds casualties and victory is measured by the degree of humiliation suffered by the other side.
Bipartisanship sounds admirable in theory, but it has not worked in decades. Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton were the last politicians of opposite parties genuinely willing to work with each other. The American people and the economy will suffer if Obamacare dies a slow death. Insurance premiums will continue to explode and higher deductibles will make coverage all but worthless. Businesses won’t expand due to the remaining employer mandates. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) has not helped by their proclamation that some 20 million Americans will lose insurance. Nearly all of these losses will be from the removal of the individual mandate. The Senate bill was not perfect but it removed many of the onerous elements of Obamacare and left the door open for further debate. McCain killed the chance that this bill could be made better. Senator McCain has lost relevance within the Republican Party and the Democrats have little to celebrate. I think 2018 will see voters handing out “pink slips” to those who let us down.