Why do Some Republicans Oppose the Latest Health Care Proposals?

Updated on July 2, 2017

Voters should at least be consistent

Apparently, the health care plan proposed by Senate GOP leaders is highly unpopular with the general public. It is not surprising that liberal Democrats oppose it. What I don’t understand is why many Republicans have a problem with it. For decades, the Republican Party has argued that the role of the federal government needs to be reduced by scaling back taxes, aid programs, and regulations. Both the House and Senate GOP health care proposals do all of these things. Republicans have also spent much of the last seven years bashing the Affordable Care Act, with opposition to “Obamacare” being one of the main reasons why the GOP currently finds itself so dominant politically at all levels of government. Congressional Republicans are by and large doing what they promised to do, but many of the people who voted for them are unhappy about it. Go figure.

Health care, of course, is not the only important issue on which people base their votes. Any voter, however, who does not take into account a candidate’s or a political party’s position on health care has little understanding of our political and economic system. Health care spending accounts for more than a quarter of federal spending, and the health care sector in general accounts for almost a fifth of the entire economy. Since the question of where the federal government spends its money is the primary issue in politics, and health care spending of all kinds is so central to our lives on every level, any voters who do not rank this issue near the top when deciding how to cast their votes should probably do the rest of us a favor and stay home on election day.

Agree with them or not, Republicans who support either (or both) the GOP House or Senate versions of the Obamacare repeal are being consistent. Republicans who do not are either clueless about what their party stands for or know next to nothing about the actual impact of the political policies that really matter. Do they not know what the Affordable Care Act has actually done? Do they not realize that reducing government health care benefits will cause people to lose health care benefits? Do they really believe the fantasy that a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a return to the good old days before Obamacare will wipe away all of the problems that led to health care reform in the first place?

The Affordable Care Act, like the American health care “system” in general, is severely flawed. The fact that the United States spends far more on health care than any other industrial nation and has mediocre outcomes to show for it is a clear indication that our health care hodgepodge of government aid mixed with for profit businesses needs to change. American consumers of health care are getting ripped off, and simple common sense, you would think, would lead all Americans to look at what the most successful nations have done in regards to health care in an attempt to learn from their examples. But instead, the health care debate typically degenerates into the same old simplistic, partisan shouting match. And clearly, some of the people engaged in these arguments haven’t even bothered to learn enough to know what side they should be on.


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