Republican lawmakers aired sharp concerns about their party’s quick push to repeal the Affordable Care Act inside a closed-door meeting Thursday, according to a recording of the session obtained by The Washington Post....Are Republicans going to hammer an awful plan together or just tiptoe away from this? Or will they go back to the "repeal and infinitely delay" approach they seemed to be following before that began to scare them? I don't know.
Senators and House members expressed a range of concerns about the task ahead: how to prepare a replacement plan that can be ready to launch at the time of repeal; how to avoid deep damage to the health insurance market; how to keep premiums affordable for middle-class families; even how to avoid the political consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood, the women’s health-care organization, as many Republicans hope to do with the repeal of the ACA.
“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal, said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “That’s going to be called Trumpcare....”
But if they do cough up some plan or other, I hope Democrats avoid the temptation to call it "Trumpcare."
It should always be called "Republicare."
For years, Democrats have failed to make the case that the problems in this country are problems created by the Republican Party -- not by "Washington" or "gridlock," and not by a current Republican Party leader who might happen to be unpopular. Democrats' unwillingness to attack the entire GOP explains why Republicans always make very quick comebacks after periods of unpopularity. (See the Gingrich victory two years after George H.W. Bush's electoral wipeout, the George W. Bush victory two years after Gingrich flameout, and the Tea Party victory two years after Bush's departure in disgrace.)
It's going to happen again if everything terrible that's about to take place in America is blamed exclusively on Donald Trump. Yes, Trump might be a one-term president. Yes, as a result Democrats might regain their electoral mojo. But then the GOP will rebrand itself again, as if Trump never existed, just the way it did in 1994 and 2000 and 2010.
If there's a terrible healthcare plan, it won't be "Trumpcare" anyway. Trump isn't detail-oriented enough to make intelligent recommendations on the makeup of such a plan. He's just going to make broad demands and then sign whatever passes.
Whatever passes will be a Republican plan. It will exist because Republicans -- long before Trump became a candidate -- made it their life's work to dismantle Obamacare, even though they had no better ideas. The terrible healthcare plan we're about to be presented with will be the quintessence of contemporary Republicanism.
So call it by the appropriate name: Republicare.