During the past year, we have argued that a big problem with the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare — was that Democrats rushed it through Congress in 2009.
We have also argued that the problem with repealing or replacing Obamacare is that Republicans were trying to push their measures through Congress too fast.
On Friday, Republican Sen. John McCain said that he would not support the latest repeal plan.
“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said of the bill, co-written by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, his best friend in the Senate, and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
“Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”
But don’t think McCain is against repealing or replacing the ACA.
“I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends, senators Graham and Cassidy, were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case,” he said.
“We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009.”
We agree with McCain. More time needs to be spent on just how to fix the flawed ACA program.
So, it appears do national groups.
The health insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, strongly opposes the latest GOP effort, as do groups such as the the American Medical Association, which represents the nation’s doctors, along with patient advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association.
We’re puzzled why so many members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, have been reluctant to let the measure go through the so-called regular order process, where legislation goes through a transparent committee process and both parties are able to shape it.
While some believe McCain’s opposition to the bill could effectively kill it, there still is the possibility it could pass the Senate. If it does in its present form, it would be a shame.
Clearly, most people agree there should be serious changes to the current health care law. We argue that rushed-through legislation is not the answer.
• Dave Mathews