These Republicans running the show in Congress, they’re like kids in a candy store right now. There’s so much to tear down, gut, and undo that it has them all a bit overexcited and they don’t know where to begin. Therefore, maintaining self control is a challenge.

    These Republicans running the show in Congress, they’re like kids in a candy store right now. There’s so much to tear down, gut, and undo that  it has them all a bit overexcited and they don’t know where to begin. Therefore, maintaining self control is a challenge.

    How else to try to explain away their VERY FIRST ACT as undisputed leaders of the House and Senate, with a Republican president-elect to boot, involving a behind-closed-doors, secret meeting to the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics? It’s like reaching past a pile of Chippers to grab a piece of sour lemon candy. You just don’t do it, and if you do somehow do it, there’s no explaining it. These are Chippers we’re talking about, after all.

    Repealing Obamacare, known officially as the Affordable Care Act, is the Chipper in particular that has Republicans’ mouths watering. But they’re so anxious to make it disappear they’re apparently willing to devour the potato chip before it’s drenched in its wondrous chocolate coating. In other words, they want the ACA gone yesterday, but they have nothing even close to being in place to replace it.

    Obamacare is flawed, and maybe the best thing you can say about it is that it is indeed better than nothing. But for the millions of people who had no health insurance whatsoever who now have health insurance coverage thanks solely to the ACA’s existence, the importance of having “something” cannot be overstated. Some consumers have had nightmarish experiences with Obamacare, yes, but for most, it’s gone quite well. Yes, premiums have gone up, in some cases way up, but overall the rate of the increases is less than the skyrocketing health care coverage premium jumps witnessed pre-Obamacare.

    A couple Republican Congresspeople last week were quoted as saying they hope to have an Obamacare replacement ready for consideration in six months or so. And who can forget candidate Donald Trump saying day after day on the campaign trail that Obamacare had to go, but when pressed for information on what he had in mind to replace it with, all Trump could offer up was, “Something terrific.”

    It begs the obvious question: If Republicans are able to repeal the ACA in rapid fashion – they have the votes in both chambers to do so, since they need no Democratic support – just when do they think they’ll have a replacement plan ready to go, one that will require a 60-vote majority in the Senate and, therefore, need some Democrats to sign on?

    There’s another obvious question: What’s going to happen to the millions of people in the meantime who lose their coverage?

    Trump and other Republicans like some things about Obamacare. Why wouldn’t they, after all, since they pushed for almost the exact legislation before Obama was elected, but then decided once he was in office to obstruct him at every turn. They like pre-existing conditions not being a prohibition to coverage, and they like young adults being able to stay on their parents’ plans. But Republicans hate the coverage requirement, which even carries a penalty for those who lack coverage and don’t seek out the ACA. Trouble is, the revenue from that requirement pays for the things Republicans like.

    A child begging for every piece of candy in the shop might be scolded by a parent for thinking, wrongly, that he can have everything he wants. Republicans right now want everything, too, in the form, early on at least, of ridding the country of everything President Obama was able to do as a Democratic president with zero Republican support.

    Until they put forth some reasonable initiatives to replace everything they want to do away with, their approach warrants spending some time in time-out.