Politics surrounding ObamaCare will shift in 2018. It is expected that opponents of the health care law change tactics, The Hill reports. According to conservative health care experts, the White House and the Republican Congress should focus on containing what they see as the law’s damage.
“It might be time for Republicans to recalibrate to think more in terms of containment, which is containing itself in terms of its future growth and spread, rather than some type of radical rollback. Once things get institutionalized and planted in U.S. health policy for a number of years, regardless of whether they’re good or bad, they tend to stick around,” said Tom Miller, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank.
On the other side, those who support the law feel as if the Affordable Care Act has largely survived its first year in the face of a united government leaded by the Republicans committed to destroying it. They hope that 2018 will be a good election year that could bolster the health care law’s defenses going into 2019.
“I think we continue to limp along, and my hope is that we get a Democratic House in November — and possibly a Democratic Senate, although that looks even harder — and then we start turning this ship around before it goes too much further aground,” said Timothy Jost, a Washington and Lee University professor emeritus, who supports Obamacare.
It will be now even harder for the Republicans to repeal and replace the law, as Senate Republicans’ already razor-thin majority shrinks to one vote after Alabama Democrat Doug Jones is seated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged that that’s a political reality, signaling an intention to move away from ObamaCare repeal.
“Well, we obviously were unable to completely repeal and replace with a 52-48 Senate. We’ll have to take a look at what that looks like with a 51-49 Senate. But I think we’ll probably move on to other issues,” he said recently.
That would leave ObamaCare the law of the land next year, but questions loom over what form it will take.