Amateur Hour

Republicans have had seven years to draft and pass a repeal/replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act. For almost all of that time, they drafted nothing.

Then, last month, they came up with a hastily-drafted bill that would leave 24 million more Americans uninsured than if they just left the ACA in place and which would make health insurance completely unattainable for millions and millions of seniors. But it’s not just the substance that was bad. The process of getting there was laughably amateurish:

  • They moved it through committees quickly, with no hearings;
  • Most of the people in charge of the bill refused to meet their constituents to discuss it;
  • They did all of this before obtaining a score on it from the Congressional Budget Office;
  • Yesterday they rewrote the bill, in the most laughably cynical way possible, saying “the Senate will fix all of this later.” Really, that’s what they did;
  • They will hold no hearings on the rewritten bill; and
  • They want to vote on it on Thursday.

Health care is one of the most important issues facing our nation today. It is at or near the top of the list of top concerns in virtually every poll taken. And the Republicans are attempting to ram through a wildly unpopular bill in the most reckless and thoughtless way imaginable.

The most reasonable conclusion to draw: they don’t care about health care. They only care about being able to say “we got rid of Obamacare.” No matter how costly the results are and no matter how many people are harmed in the process.

Even if you give them the benefit of the doubt on this and accept that they care, this is the most carelessly drafted bill with the most slipshod implementation I have ever seen. Certainly for something as important as this.

It’s amateur hour.

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the author of the daily baseball (and other things) newsletter, Cup of Coffee. He writes about other things at He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.