It’s Time To Hedge Our Bets

Every possible scenario we can contrive speaks clearly to the definite need to act on healthcare reform now. 

From the moment the Affordable Care Act was passed with all the thoughtful consideration and calm deliberation of a shotgun wedding, conservatives and Republicans immediately made the gamble they could regain the reins of government almost exclusively upon absolute opposition to Obama’s signature healthcare law.  Even Democrats and the pundits of the left would have to admit this gamble was built upon pretty decent odds and that it paid out, in dividends, when it came to victory at the ballot box.  Since ACA became law, the Republican Party has claimed the majority of State legislatures, Governorships, both Houses of Congress, the Presidency, and has maintained the balance of power in the Supreme Court.  This was no small feat and it is a testament, despite what some current polling shows, that the overreach of Obamacare was a gross miscalculation on the part of President Obama and the Democratic Party.

But in the midst of all this winning (that’s right, the GOP was a veritable winning circle way before this guy called Trump rode down an escalator) some interesting developments occurred.  Chief among these being the surprising reality that Americans were growing accustomed to many of the provisions of Obamacare while still trending towards disliking the bill, as well as the carefully calculated, and ultimately shortsighted, decision to put off consideration of the fundamentally different opinions about what repeal of Obamacare should like from within the Republican Party.  You see, the problem was never that Republicans didn’t have a plan (as Democrats loved to claim) but that there were actually too many plans and visions, many of them ultimately incompatible with each other.

So, here we are in 2017.  The Republican Party mortgaged the farm and put it all on the winning hand called #RepealAndReplace and it had looked like the best bet in the world…until reality hit.  Saying “Repeal and Replace” and getting cheered maniacally with the votes in the ballot box piling up in win after win was pretty cool until all of a sudden it came time to deliver.

And the reality is stark.  If Republicans fail to deliver any meaningful legislation in regards to healthcare policy, it may lose everything its gained…and then some.  Even worse for proponents of limited government, the Democrats have stopped defending Obamacare and have begun rallying to the calls for socialized medicine, suggesting that a “let it fail” strategy would only allow Obamacare to finish the job in preparing the minds of Americans for the final and complete government take over.  Every possible scenario we can contrive speaks clearly to the definite need to act and act now.

So here we are, as it were, at the end of all things.  The Republican Party, for all intents and purposes, is facing its Apocalypse.  And, as opposed to its Biblical counterpart, this Apocalypse will not come as a thief in the night but will close quite resoundingly at the end of this current month.  The United States Senate of the 115th Congress simply does not have 60 votes to go towards legislation that touches Obamacare in any meaningful way and the budget reconciliation opportunity will end on September 30.

Does this mean the Graham-Cassidy Bill is a white knight riding to the rescue?  Hardly.  But it does present the last opportunity to pass something.

Now, I will be the first to admit that the Graham-Cassidy Bill is not perfect and truly a far-cry from the full repeal many of us expected to come from a totally Republican controlled federal government.  I can empathize and understand with those coming out in opposition to this bill and I myself feel a certain level of frustration that so many Republicans have backed away from their commitments to fully repeal Obamacare.  But, I must reiterate what is at stake here.  Republicans bet the farm on full repeal and we face the reality of accomplishing nothing.

Taking stock of the full realities of the situation and approaching it with all useful reason, can we really conclude that now is the time to double down on every jot and tittle of our demands?   In the annals of war, what commander is revered whose strategy is solely deciding which hill his cause will die on?

It is time, however much sour the pill, for us to hedge our bets.  We may feel we cannot stomach these half measures and soft repeals which we have seen come forward for consideration, but I, for one, can definitely not stomach seeing this country laboring under Obamacare fully intact for one day longer.

So, tell me, shall we allow our country to remain upon the very precipice of government dependence because we cannot accomplish all we wish to gain, or shall we instead content ourselves with a few steps back from the edge?

I say that we choose to bring the country back from the brink of Obamacare’s collapse (a collapse surely more helpful to the cause of socialism then to our own) and to do what we must today so we can yet fight tomorrow.

-The Millennial Federalist


Categories: Today's Issues

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