As a house flipper, my job is to find old, beaten down houses and bring them back to life. Often an old house needs many fixes: plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing, floors, and of course kitchens and baths.
But every successful house flipper will tell you one very real truth: no one becomes successful at flipping houses by tearing them down and starting over from scratch. No one in their right mind would spend so much time and money buying an old house to simply tear it down and build another one-with similar but different problems-in the same place.
My job is simple: Renovate and Repair. We find houses that are in good neighborhoods, so the concept of flipping the house makes sense. We select houses in good school districts, so when completed the house will have value to its new owners. And we buy houses that have the capacity to become a ‘home’ again for a family: project houses must meet the needs of the people who will use it in the future.
In the same way, health care needs to be ‘flipped.’ The Affordable Care Act offers some folks insurance who could never afford insurance before. It also offers a great increase in premiums for millions. So one can honestly say that the ACA has potential as a ‘flip’ but needs two things: Renovation and Repair.
The concept of the ACA is solid; provide all Americans healthcare. Like the real estate concept of ‘location, location, location,” the concept is sound: Americans, living in the wealthiest and strongest nation on Earth should have health care.
The value of the ACA is legitimate, offering some very necessary framework to ensure certain groups don’t get left without coverage. Without healthcare for all Americans, healthcare has no intrinsic value for America as a nation.
Finally, the Affordable Care Act has the capacity to improve: as the healthcare law of the land, the ACA can be amended easily. Much easier than writing a new law.
The ACA is ‘flip worthy;’ what it needs is competent flippers. It needs people that understand how to ‘Renovate’ what’s wrong with the law, and ‘Repair’ what’s broken, like the mandate.
What America needs are leaders that are willing to understand and accept the truth: any new bill the Republicans push through Congress and that is signed into law will simply become dumpster fodder the next time the Democrats come into power. Getting the Democrats to buy in to ANY healthcare law must begin with the ACA, by amending it, by Renovating and Repairing it, not trashing it and starting new.
No flipper would tear down a house and build another house in the same place because that is just plain bad business. The Republicans would know that if there was a smart businessman anywhere among them. Certainly no flipper would tear down any house-even with it’s flaws-only to build another house that looks quite similar-with its own ‘new’ set of flaws.
But there is a good reason why no Republican wants to Renovate and Repair the ACA; there is a good reason why every Republican wants to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act. The reason why the Republicans want to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act instead of using a Renovate and Repair plan has never been more clear. None of these Republicans want to allow the healthcare law of the land to continue to be associated with Barack Obama. Allowing the Affordable Care Act to live-in any form-would continue to allow Barack Obama to claim healthcare as his champion legacy, and no Republican can tolerate that.
Don’t be fooled: Renovate and Repair IS the correct way to go with healthcare: it will allow the parts of the ACA that work to remain while fixing whats broken. Repeal and Replace burns the house to the ground, only to make way for the ‘new’ blighted property known as the American Health Care Act. The Republican healthcare law will not fix the problems of healthcare; what is will do is create new problems of its own. And no American needs or deserves that, and no Democrat will stand for that.
But the Republicans in Congress and the Republican in the White House agree on one thing: they want the name “Obamacare” to go away. What all Republicans want to do more than fix health care, what they want more than to help Americans, what they want even more than to try to Make America Great Again is to deny Barack Obama any legacy at all.
And that’s not about healthcare; it’s not about governing; it’s not about spending, or premiums, or coverage. It’s about hatred. And I’ll even go as far to say it’s about racism.
The Republicans who have been elected are hell-bent to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act at all costs. Even if it means tearing down the old ACA and building a new law-just as bad-on the same site. And THAT defies logic. Approaching healthcare through reform, through ‘Renovate’ and ‘Repair’ makes great sense for healing Americans and for healing America. It gives us the chance to keep what works while adding what’s missing. Both parties get something; all Americans get health care; and AMERICA wins!
Anything else is most assuredly not based on logic, or intelligence, or compromise, but is rooted in the evil notion that anything associated with Obama’s name must go.
Perhaps the Republicans need someone who can negotiate, someone who knows how to make a deal, someone who can work with Democrats to solve one of America’s toughest issues.
©Timothy J. Sabo