RICHMOND, Va. -- It's true the Republicans had seven full years to come up with an absolutely brilliant plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. What happened guys?
As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, "As bad as Trumpcare was the first time around, it was dead. It died. It died right here on the floor. Now it's come back to life. Like a zombie. Even more scary than before . . .”
You know what else is scary, madam?
The Democrats also had seven full years to come up with a plan to reshape the Affordable Care Act before it collapses or bankrupts us.
As House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, "After seeing this law collapsing while we witness it across the country, knowing all this turmoil that's coming...”
That's right. Health care debt ballooned as President Obama rode off into the sunset. We're now spending $10,000 per person per year - $3.5 trillion.
Obama himself on several occasions said his signature act needs revision, but bipartisanship quashed all but a few tweaks.
According to a March report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare - as it is now - will lead to the highest level of debt this nation has ever experienced relative to our gross domestic product.
That same Congressional Budget office said the first repeal and replace effort by Republicans would've reduced federal health care deficits by a quarter-trillion dollars, but also leave an extra 24 million people uninsured.
What does the CBO say about the Trumpcare plan that just cleared the House? They haven't scored it yet.
It's just like no one knew what was in Obamacare when it was passed.
So let's just do it again.
President Donald Trump said Thursday it's all good.
"This is a real plan," he said. "This is a great plan and we had no support from the other party . . ."
We are in a mess, and not just because of petty partisan posturing, bickering and power-grubbing.'
Consider that we spent one-twentieth of our gross domestic product on health care back in 1960. We are now rapidly approaching one-fifth of our GDP, and it will just keep on climbing.
Largely because of people like me. There are 76 million of us baby boomers, all reaching the ages of hip and knee replacements, open-heart surgery, cancer treatments, pneumonia and death, the latter likely being the most expensive journey we'll ever take. Demographic experts have been warning of this looming health care problem for more than a decade.
We're also living longer. And with more people having access to health care, more are using it.
We have the Democrats saying the wealthy should pay most of the bill.
We have Republicans saying no, everyone should pay their share.
Both sides are distorting and pressing for more power while enjoying the best health care plans in the land.
Look, we don't want a different health care act with someone's name or party affiliation on it.
We want the best health care plan - or plans - the world has ever known.
We do not want politicians writing it.
We want the smartest, brightest humans working without political interference. An army of geeks and nerds who know medicine, billing, actuaries and the other ins and outs of all things insurance, corporate waste, malpractice, healthy living, risk management and the law.
We need fresh thinking. There are real compromise solutions and we have the nerds to find them. It is doable, just like landing on the moon. We didn't have politicians arguing jet propulsion theory.
And we desperately need both parties pressing for this without caring which side is going to win or get blamed.
As Harry Truman famously said, "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."
Especially in an emergency situation.
And by the way, every Senator and Congressman should be covered by Obamacare or Trumpcare until this gets fixed.