Republicans have obviously gotten so used to governing from one self-created crisis to the next that they can't imagine doing it any other way—long-term planning just isn't in the cards. Since they're not capable of creating a coherent vision for the future of health insurance, they've decided the best way to deal with Obamacare is to repeal it without a replacement plan in sight. This should go well, writes Politico:
Prepare for the Obamacare cliff.
Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump’s transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.
They’re crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance. The idea is to satisfy conservative critics who want President Barack Obama’s signature initiative gone now, but reassure Americans that Republicans won’t upend the entire health care system without a viable alternative that preserves the law’s popular provisions.
“We’re talking about a three-year transition now that we actually have a president who’s likely to sign the repeal into the law. People are being, understandably cautious, to make sure nobody’s dropped through the cracks,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Um, "understandably cautious," John? Surely, you jest. Jeopardizing the health care of 20 million people without any replacement plan in the works—any preliminary haggling with your fellow congressional members to see what's possible—couldn't possibly be more irresponsible.
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