President Trump says he decided to end federal subsidies to insurance companies because the “Affordable” Care Act didn’t include funding for that, and it was unconstitutional for Obama simply to give billions of dollars to private insurers when only Congress has the power to allocate public funds. He added, “The Democrats should come to me. I would even go to them because I'm only interested in one thing: getting great health care for this country.”
But it looks as if Congressional Democrats are more interested in scoring political points than in insuring Americans. Pelosi and Schumer quickly took to the cameras to denounce Trump’s move as “a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class.”
It’s funny they should say that, since spite and sabotage seem to be the only arrows the Democrats have had in their quiver ever since Trump took office. All they’ve done is obstruct, badmouth and undermine. For instance, Trump rightly pointed out a fatal flaw in the law they passed on a party-line vote: it costs a ton of money and includes no funding. Obama tried to paper over that with executive orders, but Presidents have no power to write budgets. Trump didn’t kill Obamacare’s funding, he just handed it back to Congress to fix in a legal manner. Just like DACA and the Iran nuclear deal, two other major policy initiatives for which Obama tried to do an end-run around the Constitution.
Trump even offered to work with them. But Congressional Democrats (and let’s face it, a lot of Republicans) would rather sprint to the cable news cameras and attack Trump than do their job. Whining is easy, legislating is hard. Legislating requires long hours, compromise and making tough decisions you have to explain to voters. Insulting Trump gets you invited onto Rachel Maddow’s show.
Naturally, the Democrats want to keep Obamacare just the way it is (talk about taking aim at working families and the middle class!) But then, they’ve never let the Constitution get in the way of doing whatever feels good to them. Meanwhile, many Republicans were content to vocally oppose Obama but do nothing to stop him. His executive actions may have been unconstitutional and incredibly destructive, but at least he made it appear that something was getting done in Washington, so they didn’t have to. Plus he gave them something to run against, even if they had no intention of doing anything about it after the election. Obama’s total disregard for the Constitutional limits of executive power gave them cover to posture for eight years while doing nothing. Now, Trump is ending the good times by insisting that the Constitution be restored and that they do their job. It’s like trying to get a surly teenager out of bed on the first day of school after a long summer vacation.
So other than calling Trump names, what is the Democratic alternative to replacing Obamacare? Retain their terrific system that’s crumbling like Dracula in the sunlight and forcing Americans who don’t qualify for subsidies to spend more on health insurance every month than they spent on their first car? Keep it on life support with an IV of illegally-allocated tax money? Or do they just get such warm fuzzies from the idea of Washington handing out billions of dollars to anybody at all that they don’t even care that it’s unconstitutional, ineffective, and as Trump pointed out, going to the insurance giants they claim to hate?
Look, I get that they’re really upset. When Obamacare imploded, Hillary was supposed to be President and standing by to rubberstamp single-payer government health care. But those deplorable voters ruined their plans! It’s no wonder they want to replace us with foreign imports. But until that time, we are still their bosses. And as their bosses, we should all be telling them: “Do your job and replace Obamacare, or we’ll replace you with someone who will!”
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