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The Broken Senate Is the Last Bulwark Against Obamacare Repeal

Ambassador Ira Shapiro

By Ira Shapiro (original source Washington Monthly) 

The House Republicans and the Trump administration gave new meaning to the words “catastrophic health care,” when the House voted 217-213 last week to unwind major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even recognizing that Washington has become increasingly dysfunctional over time, this is a shocking piece of political malpractice. Empowered by President Trump’s election, the House Republicans went beyond their seven years of irresponsible demagoguery about the ACA to reckless action. The extreme nature of their legislation produced what the New York Times called “a rare unifying moment” as doctors, hospitals, insurers and consumer groups all expressed immediate, vehement opposition. “It raises the specter that the sickest and neediest among us will be disproportionately hit in losing access,” said Paul Markovich, the CEO of Blue Shield of California. “This is not a reform,” said Michael J. Dowling, chief executive of Northwell Health, a large health system in New York.  “This is just a debacle.”

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