Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Democrats in the last 2 weeks have really stepped up their opposition to Republicans attempt to repeal Obamacare. On Monday night of last week they held a late night Senate session of back to back speeches on the ills of Trumpcare. On Monday night of this week Senator Corey Booker and Congressman John Lewis led a sit-in on the Capitol steps, this turned into a rally with many protesters and dozens of other Democratic Party elected officials joining to make speeches. Finally Democrats are focused on something other than Russia/Trump election collusion, now is the time for the other shoe, Act 2 to drop.
Democrats are now doing a good job of fighting Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, but they can’t make the same mistake Republicans have made for the last 7 years. Democrats must do more than obstruct Republicans Trumpcare they must offer solutions.
They have taken the first step by admitting that there are problems with Obamacare, they now have to step up and offer fixes for the problems of Obamacare. Democrats have resisted this because they feel Republicans with their constant repeal mantra are not open to any ideas to repair Obamacare. As the reality of what repeal means becomes clear to people several Republican Senators are being pressured to reconsider their opposition to Obamacare.
Republican Senator Lisa Merkowski says “This is not for Republicans to fix or Democrats to fix this is for us as Americans to fix”, she needs Democratic allies to save Planned Parenthood the sole provider of woman’s health services in some parts of her home state of Alaska. Senator Dan Heller says “In this form I will not support it”, he is up for reelection in 2018 in a state won by Hillary Clinton. Senator Shelly Moore Capito says “As drafted, this bill will not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers,”
These three alone are enough to deny passage of Trumpcare but not enough to guarantee Obamacare will be fixed. Democrats must start to offer the fix solutions so that they become a part of the conversation. It’s true that Obamacare has become more popular with the public, but that doesn’t mean that they are willing to overlook the existing problems with Obamacare.
Democrats being honest about the problems with Obamacare and offering solutions to those problems put Democrats in a stronger position to block Trumpcare. It also makes public support of Obamacare stronger and applies more pressure on Republicans to fix Obamacare.
According to House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer we would be surprised at the fixes they have in mind for Obamacare. Surprises are nice but the time for surprises and guesses are over, Democrats must walk and chew gum at the same time. They must keep resisting but also offer fixes to the real problems of Obamacare or we will end up with disastrous Trumpcare.