Taking Away Benefits

Taking Away Benefits

I never believed I would say it, but the Republican majority in the House has not served the new President well.  They have produced a pathetic and wholly inadequate replacement for Obamacare.  If it goes through, their hastiness and their stupidity will come to haunt them down the road.

So, why are they so eager to pass this dumb bill?  Is it only the pressure they are getting from Trump who wants the bill for his own purposes, the people be damned?

Or, does their eagerness have more to do with a fire in their belly to kill Obamacare, regardless of what the replacement may look like, than worry about the details of a new healthcare bill, ostensibly designed to serve the people?

Indeed, they have been intensely committed to killing Obamacare for almost a decade.   The speed they are applying now has far less to do with delivering on a commitment they made to their constituents than accomplishing something very very personal and about which they are passionate.

And, that passion has nothing to do with the good of the people.  In this instance, certainly, they care not a whit about the people.  They care about, and only about, themselves. And this obsessive drive to get rid of Obamacare for them trumps the possibility of turning off constituents. 

And the reason dates back precisely to the passage of Obamacare itself.  Republicans were in the minority at the time.  And, their colleagues on the other side were playing to their constituents by insisting that all those in Congress should join the same healthcare program as the people.  Thus, it was written into Obamacare that all federal employees, including those in Congress, would move immediately from the healthcare program they enjoyed to the new Obamacare. 

And so, the Republicans and Democrats alike were forced to give up the expansive, cadillac program they enjoyed under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and to come under the far less attractive people’s program – Obamacare.

Thus, the Republicans' passionate desire to kill Obamacare has far more to do with recovering fat benefits they enjoyed in the past than delivering a better and new healthcare program for the country.

Message to all Congresspeople: Don’t take away important benefits from your colleagues.  It will haunt you later.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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