In the early hours of Friday morning, Senate Democrats could be seen cheering and taking selfies throughout the Capitol complex, celebrating the fact that millions of Americans would continue shouldering the burden of skyrocketing premiums, limited choices, and unaffordable costs and deductibles.
While Democrats seem to think they scored a short term political victory and got a chance to dance in the streets with the progressive protestors in Washington, they are surely going to hear differently when they have to face voters in 2018.
For the last seven years, Republicans have heard from these very voters who expressed grave concerns about the future of their health care under the onerous restrictions and mandates of Obamacare. That’s why every single Republican for the last seven years has looked voters in the eyes and promised to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Since the implementation of Obamacare, Republicans have won election after election, gained control of both chambers of Congress, and taken back the White House. We did this in large part by promising to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The argument pushed by the Left and the media that Republicans are somehow now in trouble for pushing hard for a bill to repeal Obamacare doesn’t pass the smell test.
The truth is that the Democrats, and a few hold out Republicans, sank the opportunity to give hardworking families relief from the burdens of Obamacare. For many families deductibles have ballooned to 10 percent of median household income. For others, average monthly insurance premiums have increased by more than 100 percent over the last four years. People have been forced to buy insurance they don’t want, can’t afford, or can’t use because of Obamacare’s overreaching mandates.
Those stark realities don’t give me cause to celebrate, and it’s a wonder how any Senate Democrat could champion their constituents’ suffering.
What is equally confusing is the fact that the bill Democrats killed last week would have eliminated many Obamacare provisions that some Democrats have previously supported nixing. For example, Senators Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill have said numerous times that they want to eliminate the individual mandate, but both voted against it last week.
Republicans have also been fighting to get rid of the controversial Cadillac tax. Democrat Senators Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Debbie Stabenow, and Jon Tester have all supported rolling back this Obamacare provision, but once again they all fell in lock step with Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren during last week’s vote.
That so many Democrats voted against common sense reforms they have previously supported proves just how politicized they have made this process. Rather than sticking to principle and voting to undo the damage they caused for millions of people across this country, every single Democrat sat on their hands.
The scenes of smiling Democrats celebrating the preservation of an indisputably flawed and failed healthcare system will not sit well with voters.
When the people of West Virginia begin considering who to vote for in 2018, they will look at their checkbooks and remember that Sen. Manchin voted to keep the individual mandate. When they are unable to receive health care because the costs have been driven too high, they will remember that he refused to rule out the ultra-progressive calls for a single payer system.
This hypocrisy is just one of countless examples of Democrats refusing to fix the mess they created for the American people.
Fortunately, the Republican Party remains committed to delivering results for the American people. Though last week’s defeat was not the results we hoped for, we will not stop fighting until people across our country have relief from Obamacare.
Ronna McDaniel is the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).