The Senate GOP health care bill is dead.
Planned Parenthood is cheering.
Meanwhile, insurers continue to abandon markets. Medicaid is sprinting toward insolvency, and the disastrous Obamacare law continues to leave Catholic families in the lurch.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Senate Republicans were split on the best solution to “replace” Obamacare. Hold outs Mike Lee and Rand Paul joined pro-abortion Republicans to oppose the most recent Senate bill. As a result, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was forced last night to abandon the effort and instead called for a simple “repeal.” But this plan was (predictably) torpedoed by three Republican moderates.
Of course, the media largely ignored the 48 Democrats that chose to play politics with our healthcare and refused to offer any alternative plan or negotiate with Republicans.
The truth: Democrats were united. Republicans were not.
You angry yet?
There’s plenty of blame to spread around. But one aspect of this debate deserves mention. Recall that when House Republicans rushed to pass a substantive, but imperfect first bill last month, our Bishops called the bill “very troubling.”
Senate Republicans then started from scratch and wrote a new bill. Again, the Bishops deemed the bill “harmful” and called “unconscionable” the plan to repeal Obamacare taxes while placing limits on future Medicaid growth. The portion of the GOP plan the Bishops called “unconscionable” for its harm to the poor was originally proposed by President Bill Clinton.
Republicans then agreed to major concessions. They preserved Obamacare’s massive taxes on the wealthy. The GOP also proposed additional billions of dollars in grants to help states cover anyone harmed by the transition. They did all this while maintaining pro-life protections in the bill by cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and preventing taxpayer support for insurance plans that kill children. And they proposed the creation of excellent new options for Catholic families to purchase more affordable plans.
And yet… the Bishops deemed the revised Senate Republican bill “still unacceptable.”
Of course Catholics can respectfully disagree on the best way to provide affordable and accessible healthcare for all. But it’s hard not to conclude that our Bishops have been moving the goalposts. In our opinion, a golden opportunity to advance real reform was missed.
Sadly the only solutions offered by opponents of the recent proposals largely involve the “shoring up of Obamacare” by bailing out insurance companies. This is nothing more than a band-aid that will cost billions — with no real reforms.
Meanwhile, the chorus for socialized medicine, otherwise known as “single payer,” continues to grow. This path must be opposed at every turn.
We are realists and know the path to health care reform remains very, very difficult. But Obamacare is imploding. Something must be done, sooner than later. We simply cannot run from this debate.
Catholic voters will likely have to wait until the Fall or later for the dust to settle. Perhaps when families are denied access to another doctor, or receive their annual notices of massive premium hikes for next year in the mail this November…
President Trump said today that Obamacare will need to implode before Democrats will negotiate in good faith. This is shameful, but probably true.
Today, I am angry. Tomorrow, we dig back in.
There is always a chance the Obamacare implosion will result in a genuine reform plan capable of winning the votes needed to pass. The deck is reset and new ideas are already circulating. We will continue to work in whatever way we can to help make that happen.
Meanwhile, we are preparing our strategy to defeat as many as 5 Senate Democrats next year. Bob Casey (PA), Claire McCaskill (MO), Joe Manchin (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Joe Donnelly (IN) have all refused to lift a finger to help Catholics being pummeled by Obamacare.
All five of these Democrat Senators claim to be Catholic. And all five voted to protect pro-abortion Obamacare.
If you are frustrated like I am today, I hope you will resolve to do more.
Right now, the truth is Planned Parenthood and the “Resistance” crowd are fighting harder than our side.
If we want to see changes, we all have to step up our game.