Our Opinion: The drawing board
If you have a private health insurance policy, would you call your agent and cancel it just because there is a small chance you might find something better?
Of course not. That would be crazy. At some point after your policy lapsed, you would be prey for anyone eager to sell you any coverage at any price.
But members of Congress, with encouragement from President Donald Trump, are thinking of doing something similar.
It is obvious to millions of Americans that the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — needs to be repealed and replaced. They are paying more for less protection than before Obamacare became law.
Multiple attempts to pull the plug and craft a new health insurance law have failed, however. Most recently, a Senate bill was deep-sixed this week after it became apparent it would not survive a vote.
Now “Plan B” is being promoted. It would repeal most, if not all, Obamacare provisions, effective in two years. Supporters think that would force Congress to come up with an alternative.
Obviously, it would do just that. But what? An emergency bill put together at the last minute to get something — anything — on the books?
Several lawmakers, among them Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., already have said the let’s-take-a-chance strategy is not acceptable. Her explanation was that, “I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians.”
Working with Trump, lawmakers of both parties need to devise a replacement bill that will work for all Americans — and can be enacted.
Now is the time to get back to the drawing board, not to push it aside and declare, in effect, “Mission not accomplished, but it was the best we could do.”