Republicans are keeping their promise on healthcare. This week, leading GOP legislators proudly announced a new bill that will completely repeal and replace the name of ObamaCare.*
Officially called the American Healthcare Act or AHA(!), the new bill will likely become known as either RyanCare or TrumpCare depending on who wins a high stakes contest of rock-paper-scissors in the Oval Office set for next week. (Oddsmakers say Speaker Paul Ryan is the favorite as of this writing.)
It’s not surprising that President Trump and Speaker Ryan would be competing over the naming rights. The bill promises to usher in an entirely new era of American healthcare, one that may be even more dysfunctional than the present.
Speaking to Fox News this week, Speaker Ryan sought to promote the new legislation. “The bill keeps all the best market-destroying features of ObamaCare, including stipulating what expenses insurance plans must cover, dictating who they have to cover, and ensuring they can’t set their prices based on risk–which, after all, isn’t a very important consideration in the insurance industry anyway,” Speaker Ryan explained. “But that’s not all it does. It also significantly changes the acronym.”
In Ryan’s telling, the core issue with ObamaCare wasn’t that it was fundamentally unsustainable from the outset, already collapsing in front of our very eyes, or causing a deleterious race to the bottom in insurance coverage for people with severe conditions. No, the problem was that the Democrats were getting all the credit.
And when RyanCare passes, that is going to change.
*This legislative proposal is sadly real, and the characteristics of the bill are as described. However, the quotes and sentiments attributed to Paul Ryan above are fictional. For a non-sarcastic discussion of the myriad flaws of the new bill, this thorough analysis from Cato is a good place to start.