Congressional Republicans are working hard to make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Our “Political Insiders” aren’t so sure that task will be as easy as it sounds. Republicans have promised a replacement, but when (or if) that alternative will be unveiled is the subject of much debate.
Most of the Republicans who answered our survey think that Congress will only act on a full repeal of Obamacare after a replacement is devised. Another 29% think Congress will repeal the law sooner rather than later, then wait to find a replacement. 20% of Republicans told us that Congress will repeal and replace the ACA now.
Democrats are much more divided. 38% said Congress would only repeal the ACA after a replacement is devised. 31% think the law will mostly stay in place while 25% say Congress will act now to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Most of our readers say Congress will act decisively to repeal and replace the ACA now.
Selected anonymous comments:
“They will repeal parts, such as the individual mandate, but keep in place others that are popular with voters. Of course, that won’t work because the individual mandate was required by the health insurance companies to cover the cost of insuring more people. Rates will skyrocket.”
“The ideologues are so giddy that they either can’t see or don’t care that they will sink the economy and leave people in truly desperate straits.”
“I think the most likely thing to happen is that there will be an effort to repeal ACA, but there will be a lot of pushback from those who benefit, as well as from those who want to see a replacement before doing anything substantial. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans (despite years of claiming they had something better up their collective sleeves) have really not come up with any replacement – they were just, as usual, against anything that Obama proposed, no matter what. They have promised that the “something terrific” mentioned by President-elect Trump will retain the popular features of Obamacare (e.g., the ability to keep children on the parents’ insurance until age 26, the acceptance of prior conditions, etc.) but will not require joining the plan, while simultaneously lowering costs. Sounds like “something terrific” is really “something impossible.” It sounded good in the campaign but is not going to happen in the real world.”
“Very little is actually going to be done. All talk!”
“Since the Republicans in Congress don’t even know the answer to this question, I am unable to answer.”
“I feel, and this is just me, that major parts of it will be repealed rather soon. It will not be entirely repealed and replaced until after the midterms elections when the Republicans take a super-majority.”
“They will do the most short-sighted, harmful thing they can think of that allows them some opportunity to pawn the problem off on the next administration- whoever that happens to be. They’ll repeal it now, scheduled for replacement after 2020, so it’s in place for all of Trump’s first term, but they can convince his idiot supporters that they’ve done something without dealing with any of the real difficulties of having actually done something.”
“They will bow to the weight of governing. It also means they have to confront their own beliefs (or at least rhetoric) about not running up deficits.”
“Repeal now, replace later…but just like Medicaid expansion in Utah; later never comes.”
“Republicans are beginning to realize how difficult it will be to simply repeal without a replacement.”
“They’ll bellow, pound their chests, and then do nothing just like they’ve always done. Gutless pukes!”
“It makes the most sense to come up with an alternate plan for the Affordable Care Act before replacing it. This time, the salient provisions need to be discussed, debated (as well as well compromises therein), disclosed to the public, in an open and honest way. All stakeholders need a voice. Partisanship should be squelched. One-ups-man-ship should be set aside. The drafting and passing of the original bill was a shoddy piece of work as consensus, but can this Congress do any better? For the sake of the American people, I hope so.”
“The solution to the Republicans dilemma about “replacing” the ACA is to simply rename it the “much better Republican plan” and make it illegal to refer to it as “Obamacare.” That way they can claim to keep their promise to “repeal and replace” while keeping the substantive portions of the ACA that everyone agrees are very effective and popular. They can then erase Obama’s signature accomplishment take credit for something that they have been complaining about for 7 years.”
“There is no consensus on a replacement, but Republicans are infatuated with doing something about this now. In reality, Obamacare is not hurting consumers. Premiums and health care costs are increasing at a slower rate than they were before Obamacare. But people always hate their insurer – they hate paying premiums, dealing with the paperwork, getting some claims denied, etc. Now, everyone’s latent hatred of their insurance company has a name: “Obamacare.” Real or not, irrational or not, voters and politicians are turning their anger at the health care system and insurance companies toward the mythical bad guy: “Obamacare.” Republicans need to be cautious that they don’t just create a “Trumpcare” that just becomes the new surrogate. Because the changes won’t matter – people will still hate their insurance company and will still transfer that hatred toward whatever “Trumpcare” becomes.”
“The problem is Americans don’t want to pay for health care usage. They want someone else to pay for it. Attempts to cut medical costs have been ineffective because the medical industrial complex buys politicians to side with them, not the consumers.”
“Hopefully we are not dumb enough to pull the rug out from under people once you give it to them then take away something like that will cause all those people to vote Democrat for the next 30 years.”