Despite all of the machinations in Washington, the Affordable Care Act continues to work exactly the way its designers and supporters wanted it to. Premiums continue to rise. Insurers are refusing to take part in the exchanges. Medical inflation remains above the regular rate of inflation and the constant fear of "losing access to healthcare" continues to hang over everyone's heads. And now, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have fallen into the final booby trap designed to kill them as well.
As I have mentioned here before, the ACA was NEVER intended to make health care more affordable. It is not designed to improve the current health insurance system. The Affordable Care Act is solely in place to DESTROY the current health insurance system in order to set the stage for its creators' and supporters' ultimate goal: single-payer, Federal health care. It's structure of requiring insurance companies to cover all conditions, to allow people to buy insurance after they get sick and to prevent anyone with a higher risk for illness to pay a higher premium is obviously untenable in the long term.
We can debate whether the Republican majorities in Congress and President Trump were sent to Washington to "repeal and replace" the ACA. But their continued failure to do so not only guarantees the fate of healthcare in this country--but also that of the GOP as well.
President Trump--whom you will notice never actually developed his own healthcare plan and instead just chose to criticize the plans developed in Congress--thinks that he is some political genius with his "We are going to let ObamaCare fail--and we will not own it" strategy. But his plan plays directly into the hands of Democrats--whom voters are not going to "blame" for the collapse of private insurance in this country. Instead, those that want the Government to take over health care will be joined by the angry Trumpkins whose guy didn't get his way and fiscal Conservatives that realize those who promised to rescue us from the ACA trap don't have the backbone to take the steps necessary and Republicans will first lose control of Congress and then the White House.
And once that happens, the door to socialized medicine is wide open. What's more, the carnage inflicted by the Affordable Care Act operating exactly as it was designed will have those same voters begging for the Government "to do something"--which will be "Medicare For All" as Bernie Sanders yelled at his millennial supporters last year. So the greatest expansion of Government power in US history will take place--and the people will cheer as they lose more of their independence. Meanwhile, Republicans are left with yet another "political rail" that they will never be able to touch again.
The trap was set nine years ago, and this week the GOP and the President walked right into it.