The AHCA — better understood as the GOP’s watered-down-like-an-Applebee’s-cocktail version of Obamacare — has produced the worst kind of political silliness from the Republican Party. Not only is the bill unserious, despite the fact that the party had seven years to put something serious together, promising the entire time to do so, but it’s so unpopular among conservatives that bribes and threats are apparently being employed already to get it passed.
The process has already sunk to a point of bad parody: New York Rep. Chris Collins channeled Nancy Pelosi today. It’s as though he was going for Arrested Development-like meta-irony, except it took seven seasons to play out and no one is laughing.
Collins appeared on MSNBC Thursday and was asked by host Brian Williams whether he is prepared to face constituents who may lose health insurance coverage over the coming recess. The Hill reports Collins responded,
“In my district, right now there’s a lot of misunderstanding as to what it is we’re doing. And once we get it done, and then we can have the chance to really explain it.“
Let me state that in my own words and see if I’ve got it. “We have to pass the bill, then we can explain what’s in it.” That sounds vaguely familiar.
Of course, it sounds eerily like Nancy Pelosi’s laugh line from 2010 regarding Obamacare. Collins is being facetious…right…?
Now, Pelosi has already indulged in irony of an absurd level regarding the Republican healthcare plan, demanding to know what’s in this one before it’s passed, as The Daily Caller reports here. No one expect anything else of Pelosi, but this is a microcosm of the epic failure of the GOP on what should be their signature 2017 issue.
Collins went on to express hope that the recess would give supporters of the bill the opportunity to set the record straight regarding misconceptions about it
We’re not making any fundamental changes until 2020, because we need a long glide path for the insurance companies to get together for the states — their health commissioners — to get their act together. And here we’ve got the [Congressional Budget Office] predicting we lose 14 million people with insurance next year. There’s not even any changes next year.
Fortunately, it looks like he won’t have to. So far it appears this iteration of a psuedo-Obamacare replacement is going to barely leave the launch pad before crashing and burning, but Republicans had better get their act together lest they squander all of their political capital with nothing to show for it.