Is this the end of the repeal and replace Republican agenda?

Taylor Huff

“Doing big things is hard,” noted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at a press conference over this past weekend. These words of enlightenment on the part of our beloved speaker resulted from the GOP’s inability to attract enough support for their version of America’s health care plan.

But Ryan has a point. It’s incredibly difficult to pass legislation on a federal level, especially one as controversial as the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, has been.

On top of that, you have multiple factions within American politics which have no desire to compromise. The Freedom Caucus, a sub-group of hardline Conservatives, want to rid the AHCA of anything that sounds like the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, or more colloquially known as Obamacare. Moderate Republicans are attempting to appease a voter base that’s quickly running out of patience. Meanwhile, Democrats can be found watching old clips of the former President Barack Obama’s ’09 inauguration while crying into their soup.

If only there was already a plan in place that insured around 20 million Americans who couldn’t otherwise afford health care. A plan introduced by a charismatic, African American go-getter with genuine concern for poverty in America and a voice that soothes the soul.

I’ve been living in President Donald Trump’s twisted fantasy for so long I’ve almost forgotten about the Affordable Care Act that’s been in place since 2010.

According to a 2016 annual study of the ACA’s impact on Kentucky, “…[our state] has substantially improved coverage rates across most race, gender, age, and income groups since 2012.” Kentucky’s overall uninsured rate has also dropped 4.9 percentage points to 8.7 percent, a rate lower than our country’s overall uninsured rate of 11.6 percent. The non-alternative facts don’t lie, the ACA has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on Kentucky.

This is not to say that the Affordable Care Act is flawless. According to the same report, Hispanics and Latinos in Kentucky are still uninsured at a rate of 28.9 percent, over triple Kentucky’s overall uninsured rate. Kentucky also had a significantly higher rate in 2013 of people who reported having trouble paying medical bills. This is unacceptable. We must strive to remain educated on this topic and elect officials who will increase access to health insurance for all Kentuckians.

When politicians are manipulating voters into opposing beneficial bills in order to further their own political agendas, we have a “huge” problem with the people we are allowing to hold office. This is especially true when these opponents to the ACA aren’t even capable of getting enough collective support for their law to be passed. Say what you will about the ACA, but it got passed under a firestorm of criticism.

It’s safe to say the Trump administration will be putting health care on the back burner for the time being. According to CNN, tax reform is next on Trump’s list of short term goals. Goals, I might add, that are all a part of Trump’s ultimate aspiration: find Ted Cruz’s heart.

As the dust continues to settle on the AHCA dispute, a major question still remains. Have we finally reached the end of the GOP’s obsession over repealing and replacing the ACA? Now that Trump has run into sufficient opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, is this the last time he uses the repeal and replace chant as propaganda?

What this setback shows is that the president cannot bully his way out of broken campaign promises. Either he is going to have to find common ground with enough people who currently oppose him, or he’ll be forced to alter the outlandish guarantees he’s made in the past.