Recently, Politico ran a story on the U.S. Fifth Circuit hearing an appeal regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and the strong possibility of a ruling that would eliminate the ACA. The story included comments from Sen. Kevin Cramer, who said, “If the court decides it’s not (constitutional), then we have our work cut out for us.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted that, if the law is struck down, Congress would act to restore pre-existing condition protections. (“Appeals court skeptical Obamacare can survive,” by Paul Demko. July 9, 2019).
Nine years. That's how long the ACA has been in effect. Nine years of Republicans in Congress harping harrumphing, grumbling, complaining, and, at times, downright sabotaging efforts to find a solution to U.S. health system problems. Nine years of sitting on the sidelines, not participating in a non-partisan legislative process, not making suggestions, not working with Democratic colleagues to write and improve the bills that became the laws of the land. Nine years of “repeal then replace.” Nine years of promising that a better, Republican-created system was right around the corner, only to produce hastily written, frightening bills that could only generously be called draconian.
And now we have our junior senator saying that “we have our work cut out for us.”
That's awful weak tea for anyone who may be trapped in a “pre-existing conditions bubble” if the law falls; for anyone who is struggling with stagnant incomes and needing a bit of support for high medical bills; for anyone with children, out of the house, but not quite on their own, who would no longer have a few more years on their parents' policy; for anyone who would be forced back into emergency rooms for minor problems grown large because they can't afford routine care.
“We have our work cut out for us.” For the first time since Mr. Cramer began his national political career, I agree with him. I only wonder what the rush is. It's not like they haven't had time to figure out something better.