Sen. Ben Sasse can be insufferable in his constant opposition to President Donald Trump, but you can’t knock his conservative credentials. Nor can you take issue with the statement he issued last week in the wake of the Senate’s failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“Here are two whoppers: Democrats promised ‘if you like your plan you can keep your plan’ and Republicans promised to ‘fully repeal ObamaCare,’” Sasse wrote. “President Trump won on that promise and, with just one exception, every member of the Republican majority already either voted for repeal or explicitly campaigned on repeal. Today’s repeal-and-delay amendment should have been an easy, kept promise for maximum repeal of ObamaCare through the reconciliation process. As we continue the debate, I’ll dig into every amendment my colleagues – both Republican and Democrat – offer, but make no mistake: Today’s vote is a major disappointment to people who were promised full repeal. We still have a long, long way to go – both in health policy and in honesty.”
Millions of conservative voters are bitterly disappointed this week, stunned to see Republicans defy their own promise to repeal and replace this disastrous healthcare law. But while there’s fading hope that our elected representatives will come through on that promise, there are three reasons to believe that – repeal or no repeal – Obamacare is not long for this world.
Today’s Problems Are Only the Beginning
Unless lawmakers can come together and repair the glaring faults in Obamacare (which will mean dramatically increasing the extent to which taxpayers must pay for this already-burdensome law), the insurance marketplace is going to collapse. Whether Washington fixes the problem ahead of time or bails out the insurance industry after the fact, this is an event that is going to happen. Already, there are cities and even entire states where customers are down to only one choice for insurance. In some areas, they have none. This isn’t sustainable, either from the customer’s perspective or the insurance industry’s. Something’s got to give.
The 2018 Primaries
Republicans are focused on fending off Democratic challengers next November, but many of today’s incumbents could be in peril long before the election. Senators who have been less-than-supportive of Trump’s agenda could face intense primaries from insurgents who actually want to make America great again. These incumbents have left themselves wide open to attack from the right by failing to make good on their promise to fix American healthcare. Whether they succumb to the pressure beforehand or are themselves repealed and replaced next year, there is cause to hope that this isn’t the last we’ll see of the healthcare debate.
A Grassroots Solution
As Congress continues to prove that they are incapable of limiting Washington’s influence on the country, a movement to call a Convention of States is gaining steam. If only a few more states sign on, we could see one of the most historic moments in American history – a true grassroots effort to amend the Constitution and limit the federal government’s ability to spend its way into oblivion. If that happens, Obamacare will die because there is no way to pay for it AND adhere to the principles of fiscal conservatism.