The Republican Party has spent the several years trying its hardest to ruin the already terrible American healthcare system, and in the last year and a half, it has finally gotten its wish. Surprisingly, it seems like a lot of people aren’t cool with that!
Republicans are afraid of the possibility that premium rate hikes over the next few months may spell doom for them in November, Politico reports:
Polling data has consistently suggested that more voters will blame Republicans for future problems with Obamacare. In addition, the GOP’s repeated failures to repeal Obamacare after eight years of campaign promises will make it difficult to galvanize the base on health care.
Democrats and their allies have been hammering President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans for “sabotaging” the health care markets and driving up premiums. Protect Our Care has been running digital ads in 13 states featuring news coverage of big rate hikes and concluding with a sound bite from Trump: “Let Obamacare implode.”
This is a bit of welcome irony, considering the success that Republicans have had in the past as a result of Obamacare’s problems. The independent journalist Marcy Wheeler suggested in the aftermath of the 2016 election that it’s possible that a sharp increase in Obamacare premiums right before that election had just as much to do with Hillary Clinton’s loss as former FBI director James Comey’s infamous October letter, and two Ohio State University researchers said in a 2017 paper that repeated Republican efforts to undermine the law helped boost the GOP in 2016.
And in this case, the upcoming problems with Obamacare really are completely the GOP’s fault after the party’s year-plus campaign of repeated sabotage, including the repeal of the individual mandate in last year’s tax bill. “If it hadn’t been for the individual mandate being repealed, and the threat of short-term and other loosely regulated plans proliferating, I think we would have seen single-digit premiums increases,” Cynthia Cox, an insurance expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Politico. “Insurers are performing much better on the exchange markets than they had in the early years.”
It gets worse for Republicans. A poll released on Sunday by the pro-Obamacare group Protect Our Care showed that 66 percent of likely voters are opposed to the Justice Department’s decision to not defend the Affordable Care Act in federal court.
Yet despite the fact that nearly everyone who doesn’t work for the Heritage Foundation or sleep in a Make America Great Again hat loathes the Republican vision of healthcare, the right wing is still plugging away on it. The Health Policy Consensus Group—a group led by former Sen. Rick Santorum—released another plan last week to repeal Obamacare, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Lamar Alexander circulated a survey this spring asking their fellow GOP members what they wanted to focus on before the midterms, which included another shot at repealing the ACA.
On top of their problems with healthcare, Axios reports, Republicans are fretting about the possible effects of the Mueller investigation as well as a possible government shutdown in September if Trump doesn’t get the money from Congress needed to build his stupid wall. It’s almost as if it would take a real knucklehead to screw this up for the Democrats.