“Let Obamacare fail…we’ll just let Obamacare fail.
We’re not going to own it.
I’m not going to own it.
I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.”
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– President Donald Trump, July 18, 2017
Own it, Mr. President.
Own the deeply unpopular dumpster fire known as Trumpcare.
Own that you took the helm of an ongoing, seven year disinformation campaign waged against the Affordable Care Act.
And own the fact that Trumpcare failed last week because of you.
But know this: if you drop the attacks on the Affordable Care Act and work with Democrats to improve health care – you will own that too.
Will Democrats agree to erode protections for preexisting conditions or take health care from the sick and elderly so rich folks can get a tax cut? No. That means Trumpcare and repealing the Affordable Care Act are both off the table.
Will Democrats work with Republicans to lower premiums, improve quality and expand access to health care? You bet.
That is how Congress is supposed to work. Sweeping, transformational laws – such as those that created Medicare and Medicaid or launched Social Security – have historically been subject to technical fixes after enactment. The Affordable Care Act is no different: it does not need to be torn out “root and branch;” it needs to be improved.
The American people deserve transparent, bipartisan Congressional action to stabilize the individual health market and maintain the vital consumer protections on which they depend. Democrats continue to be vocal about policies to do just that. For instance:
▪ funding the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that help make health coverage more affordable;
▪ making permanent federal programs that prevent premiums from spiking, and;
▪ offering a public option plan alongside private insurers to drive marketplace competition.
So, own it, Mr. President. Not because anyone tells you to, but for the very reason you suggested in 2013: “leadership – whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.”
The reality is as President of the United States you do not get to decide whether or not you take responsibility for health care in the United States.
No matter what happens – whether you do nothing, take the nightmarishly cynical approach of sabotaging our current system established by Affordable Care Act, or lead bipartisan efforts to reform health care for the better – you are responsible.
P.S. To everyone who called, wrote, attended forums, or otherwise demonstrated to kill Trumpcare: thank you, and keep it up! Let’s make sure Trumpcare stays dead and work to fix the Affordable Care Act to lower costs, expand access and improve quality.
U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen represents Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Bellingham.