If Senate Republicans fail to pass their regressive health care plan, there’s quite a bit of support among GOP members to strike a bipartisan deal with Senate Democrats and move on to other issues. There is, however, a radically different approach that’s also on the table.
Donald Trump published a tweet two weeks ago in which he said he supports a repeal-and-delay model in which Congress immediately repeals the Affordable Care Act, and then figures out a replacement model at some point down the road. Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh asked Mike Pence if he’s on board with such an approach, and the vice president, after dismissing the idea of bipartisan policymaking out of hand, replied:
“We believe if they can’t pass this carefully crafted repeal-and-replace bill – do those two things simultaneously – we ought to just repeal only, and then have enough time built into that legislation to craft replacement legislation.”
First, to describe the current Senate Republican blueprint as “carefully crafted” is plainly ridiculous. For anyone who takes this issue seriously, the legislation is a joke. Second, it’s not exactly a good sign that GOP leaders are currently arguing about what to do after their health care legislation dies.
But let’s put that aside and consider the substantive, policy implications of what the vice president just publicly endorsed.