Open enrollment starts today. Don’t expect Trump to help. On Tuesday, Trump released a campaign-style video attacking the law. “Obamacare is failing,” the narrator intones. “Insurance premiums skyrocketing. Working families suffer. All while Democrats in Washington, DC, block a better plan to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all.” The president has, of course, tweeted about it.
For all their griping about the ways Obamacare isn’t working, Republicans are leaving out one key fact: Many of the law’s troubles can be traced back to opposition and sabotage by Republicans themselves. From the very moment Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans were proclaiming that they would “repeal and replace” the law, and that threat has hovered over the implementation of the law ever since. But it’s not just broader rhetorical threats: Republicans at all levels of government have made specific policy decisions that have hurt Obamacare.
As Donald Trump and congressional Republicans struggle to repeal Obamacare, Democrats in the nation’s most populous state are pushing a very different reform proposal that would radically change the way health care is paid for. Last week, the California Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that would demolish the state’s current insurance plans and replace them with a single-payer system that would provide comprehensive treatment to all residents free of charge. The measure is still a long way from becoming law, but progressives already see it as a model for how states can expand access to care even as Republicans at the national level try to roll back coverage.