Republican think-tanks are starting to realize that Americans a slowly coming to grasp that they want the protections of Obamacare. It is clear that the recent protests are having an effect on Republicans and now a majority of Americans want to keep Obamacare and diss Trumpcare.
Americans are apparently not buying the collection of lies that Republicans are selling with Trumpcare (AHCA) in town halls throughout the country. In fact, The Washington Post article titled “Republicans misstate, again and again on TV and at town halls, what’s in their health-care bill” is probative.
Pronouncements from Republicans in the days since they passed the AHCA and celebrated in the Rose Garden reflect a deep struggle to sell the bill at home. The bill falls short of the GOP’s long-standing promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But most Americans now oppose the “full” repeal that so many Republicans have pledged to make happen year after year.
That means these lawmakers face two potential backlashes: one if opponents of Obamacare perceive the bill does not go far enough, and another from Americans worried that the bill would eliminate their coverage. The result has been a confused sales effort — and a series of flat misstatements and contradictions about what’s actually in the bill.
It’s a risky strategy — especially in front of the skeptical crowds and interviewers Republicans have been speaking to in recent days. On Wednesday, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) spent nearly five hours answering questions from a disgruntled audience of constituents, some of whom spoke at length about what Medicaid meant in their communities. MacArthur was blown back by laughter when he argued, as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has, that caps on per capita Medicaid funding would leave the system stronger.
Conservative firm WPA now wants Republicans to stop talking about the full repeal of Obamacare.
The optimistic spin, shaped by polling but often concocted on the spot, reveals how a process that President Trump once pledged to get done “very quickly” has become a roiling political problem. Republicans are being advised to lead with attacks on Obamacare’s implementation, then pledge that the final passage of their bill will alleviate those problems by November 2018.
In a memo circulated this week by the conservative firm WPA Intelligence, Republicans were advised that “full repeal,” the campaign promise since 2010, is neither popular nor possible. In Georgia’s solidly Republican 6th District, where Democrat Jon Ossoff is trying to win Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s former congressional seat, supporters of keeping the ACA outnumbered opponents by a narrow 10-to-9 margin.
It is important that we do not fall for the word salad that Republicans are good at doing. More importantly is that as Trump and the mainstream media continue to change subjects on issues that do little for the working class that we keep our eyes on the ball. Yes, Trump’s Russia entanglement is a serious problem, but however, it resolves will have little impact on the working class. We need to ensure that healthcare, education, rejection of tax cuts for the wealthy, environment, and other issues that affect us daily are maintained in the forefront.