Can Republicans and Democrats Work Together on a Healthcare Bill?
With such a great divide within our American Political Democracy, discourse among Republicans and Democrats have been nearly reduced to a state of nothingness. The gridlock in Washington is sourced by a mixture of ideologically driven politicians, and wealthy donors focused on supporting their sides initiative.
President Trump long promised to ‘Repeal and Replace’ Obamacare which has left insurers bankrupt and has raised deductibles and premiums. The Democrats know the many flaws of Obamacare but are not willing to surrender the bills pre-existing conditions.
Republican leaders like Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham have moved towards the center to grandfather Obamacare’s subsidies, but this scared off Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (Ky) believing the bill would not fully repeal Obamacare. Surprisingly, even John McCain backed out who stressed the importance of working with Democrats in Congress. McCain was also responsible for the deciding vote on denying the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare.
On McCain’s decision he remarked,
“We should not be content to pass healthcare legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do.”
President Trump is willing to sign what the Republican controlled House and Senate can put on his desk, but many Republicans have grown skeptical with the push towards the center given that Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have stoked for a universal Single Payer Bill which is directly contradictory to the Republicans idea of healthcare as a right rather than a privilege.
Many believe that a continuation of healthcare farther to the Left will make the single payer initiative virtually useless.
If Congress can work together then they may be able to restabilize the markets and help reduce price increases in 2018.
Mitch McConnell, who criticized Trump for not understanding how much time it takes to get things done, believes that, “Where we go from here is tax reform.”
Working together would definitely relieve the criticism of the bill from one side. If there is criticism, it most likely will not be taken seriously given there be bipartisanship responsibility. President Trump might also receive criticism from his base for not fulfilling a major campaign promise for a complete repeal of Obamacare, but this may not be something he has control of in a system of checks and balances.