Michael Gaynor
Republican representatives who blocked the American Health Care Act miscalculated badly
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By Michael Gaynor
March 26, 2017

Republican obstructionists blocking the American Health Care Act was a HUGE mistake with which Obama, Schumer, Pelosi and other single-payer proponents must be delighted.

Six years before becoming President of the United States, then Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama looked forward to a federal single-payer health plan.

At an AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women's Rights Conference, he said:

"I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we've got to take back the White House, we've got to take back the Senate, and we've got to take back the House" (www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/16/barack-obama/obama-statements-single-payer-have-changed-bit/).

Watch and listen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE.

Democrats eventually took back the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House.

The result was enactment of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2010.

It was a major step toward single-payer.

Republicans proceeded to back the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House, promising to repeal and replace Obamacare, only to be blocked last Friday by Republicans who let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

Last Friday the House of Representatives voted on whether to approve the American Health Care Act or to keep Obamacare as the law of the land.

Those were the options.

Not a single Democrat abandoned the signature legislative "accomplishment" of former President Obama.

The vast majority of Republican Representatives supported their Speaker, Paul Ryan, and President Trump.

But 25 to 35 Republicans were prepared to vote down the Affordable Healthcare Act, so there was no vote.

The Affordable Care Act would have blocked funding Planned Parenthood for a year, but supposedly ardent pro-life Republicans were not going to vote yes on the Affordable Care Act, even though that would mean voting no on Planned Parenthood.

Former President Obama and Planned Parenthood should be grateful to them.

So should advocates of a single-payer plan.

The chance to move further away from single-payer was wasted by Republicans whose hope for perfection blinded them to the fact that the Affordable Care Act would have been much better that Obamacare.

Obamacare remains the law of the land, even though it is imploding and will explode unless it is replaced or "fixed."

Betting on President Trump letting it explode is a bad bet, because he cares about the people who would suffer as a result and he will make the best deal he can.

Predictably, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was giddy with joy because she had achieved Democrat unanimity and will be rewarded with relevancy when legislation finally is enacted to deal with the growing healthcare problems.

Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer is thrilled too. He will be a major player in a grand bargain that could have been avoided if Republicans had been as united as Democrats were.

Will the Republican obstructionists be happier with that grand bargain than they would have been with the Republican bill they blocked?

Of course not.

Robert Watson-Watt, developed early warning radar in Britain to counter the rapid growth of the Luftwaffe, and propounded a "cult of the imperfect" from which those Republican obstructionists should learn.

Watson-Watt said: "Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes."

Waiting for as perfect bill is like waiting for Godot.

The question that the obstructionist Republicans should have asked themselves in deciding how to vote should have been: "is this an improvement?"

Instead they asked themselves whether it satisfied them.

Republican obstructionists blocking the American Health Care Act was a HUGE mistake with which Obama, Schumer, Pelosi and other single-payer proponents must be delighted.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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