Fake repub­li­cans

El Dorado News-Times - - Opinion - Visit Michael Rea­gan web­sites at www.rea­gan.com and www. michael­erea­gan.com. Send com­ments to Rea­gan@ca­gle­car­toons.com. Fol­low @ rea­gan­world on Twit­ter.

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.

Next 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 re­pla­ceis 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 hor­ri­blelaws 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

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