Did you hear that? The sound of tens of millions of Americans breathing a huge sigh of relief? Yeah, we heard it too. And it's all because Paul Ryan said the following words today: "We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."
That's right. Today, Republicans officially withdrew the health care plan that they had wanted to use to replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and, in doing so, made sure that the Affordable Care Act and all of its threatened provisions—like providing maternal health care and guaranteeing insurance for people with pre-existing conditions—would remain intact.
This huge failure for Republicans at large, and Ryan and Donald Trump specifically, is a positive sign for Americans who thought that providing massive tax cuts for the wealthiest among us was not actually an integral part of a national health plan. Prior to today, Republicans had delayed voting on the contentious bill, hoping that extra time would, I don't know, make the bill's opponents forget that they have even a shred of humanity and decide to support it. But that time was clearly insufficient; the votes just weren't there.
Today, then, is a happy day for all of us who were fearful of this draconian plan, but it shouldn't be a purely joyous celebration. The harsh reality is that millions of Americans have been on edge for the last few weeks, stressed and worried over the idea that they might soon lose their access to basic health care. That anyone should have to suffer that type of anxiety is a disgusting reality of living in Trump's America. Today, then, should be appreciated for what it is—a huge defeat for Trump and his agenda—but it should also serve as a reminder of how closely we teeter on the abyss.