Originally Published: July 24, 2017 6 a.m.
OK, Republicans of the Senate, we get it. You’ve proved again how collectively spineless you are on your efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
You’ve proved yet again that when it comes time to put your incumbent rear-ends where your over-promising big political mouths are, many of you choose to chicken out at the last minute.
After seven months you 52 Senate Republicans and your 241 teammates in the House haven’t been able to get it together to repeal, replace or even repair Obamacare.
Now it’s time to pay the price for your seven years of fake politics.
This week Senate leader Mitch McConnell is planning an up-or-down vote on the motion to proceed on the bill to repeal Obamacare.
If that vote happens, voters and the media will see exactly which of you Republican senators have been faking it, and which ones haven’t.
There’s going to be lots of” ‘splainin’ “ for you to do to constituents back home, as Ricky Ricardo used to say.
The GOP’s “epic failure” to repeal and replace Obamacare is a perfect example of what’s been wrong with the party in Washington for decades.
For too many Republicans in Congress, it’s not about putting conservative ideals into practice, improving the country’s economy or trying to reverse, or slow, America’s long decline into Euro-style socialism.
It’s all about getting themselves elected — and then reelected, and then reelected, until they die or decide it’d be more lucrative to become a six-figure K Street lobbyist.
For seven years and four election cycles many of you 52 Senators talked tough about what you’d do to the socialist neck of Obamacare if you had the chance.
As I wrote last week, many of you figured — and probably secretly hoped — that you’d never have a Republican president in the White House who was ready to call your bluff.
It was a perfect deal, while it lasted.
You could pretend to be a conservative and a public enemy of Obamacare for another eight years without ever paying a dime of the political cost.
Well, guess what? Disaster struck. Trump beat Hillary.
Now many Republicans are terrified that if they vote to end or even reduce the “free” goodies and government subsidies that Obamacare doled out to millions of Americans, they’ll lose their cushy seats in 2018 or 2020.
Maybe so, but too bad.
All you Republicans are doing now by ducking repeal and replace is hurting the country and making it more likely Democrats will be running the Senate and maybe even the House by 2020.
If that national disaster occurs, the only health bill we’ll see go to the president’s desk is single-payer.
Because the Democrats may be a bunch of idiots and have no ideas, but they know how to work together to pass the horrible laws they desire.
The only option Republicans have now is to begin dismantling and repairing Obamacare piece by piece.
I don’t know what President Trump will do, but I know what my father would have done.
He’d have called the congressional leaders of both parties into the Oval Office months ago and asked them to find the areas where they agree.
Then he’d have told them to write a bill, send it him for his signature and start looking for other important areas of bipartisan agreement, like tort reform or allowing insurance companies to sell their policies across state lines the way Toyota sells their SUVs.
Whether Republicans have the brains and backbones to rid America of the curse of Obamacare remains to be seen, but they need to quit bitching and start fixing before it’s too late.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.