The Republican Party’s healthcare game is a long con. For six years, conservatives demonized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without offering a viable alternative. Then, when they gained control of Congress and the White House, they came up with the disastrous American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would strip 23 million Americans of their health insurance.
The cynic in me believes this deeply unpopular proposal is part of a plan to play chicken with our healthcare system, allowing Republicans to finally destroy their ACA nemesis. Unfortunately, this reckless strategy is unfolding at the expense of tens of millions of Americans, including the small businesses at the heart of the U.S. economy.
Whether or not Republicans eventually succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is increasingly obvious that the debate over the future of healthcare is creating so much uncertainty that irreparable damage may have already been done to the ACA. And even if the Republican replacement for the ACA, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), does become law it might end some of the uncertainty but it won’t bring any relief as 23 million Americans would lose their health coverage by 2026, while 54 million people would experience market destabilization through skyrocketing rates in some regions. This will have a catastrophic effect on our economy as a whole and severely damage small businesses that already face higher insurance costs than their big business counterparts.