For several years now under the feckless leadership of Mitch McConnell, the GOP promise to repeal Obamacare “root and branch” has proven to be nothing more than another election year lie designed to trick Conservatives into voting for Republicans.
One of the sorry, lame excuses we repeatedly heard for GOP inaction was the fact that Obama was in the White House, so even if Congress passed a repeal of Obamacare, the man whose name was emblazoned on the free-market-killing Affordable Care Act would veto the bill. This proved to be another lie . . . at least in part.
In 2015, Congress did pass a repeal law that voided the mandate and penalties–or taxes if you’re John Roberts–included in the failed healthcare law. And Obama did veto it. So why was it suddenly a good idea to go down this road? Because the 2016 election season was approaching. Mickey had experienced a great deal of success playing the “repeal Obamacare” card, and he was more than willing to do so again with the prospects of having the GOP control Congress and the White House.
He wasn’t interested in seeing it pass, he just wanted to leverage the appearance of keeping his word.
From the “be careful what you wish for” department, the GOP is now without excuses since the election. They hold all the cards, so how will they handle their newfound power? Unfortunately, it looks like they will cave. Since the election, Trump and the GOP have been backpedaling on eliminating Obamacare. And just two weeks ago at their annual retreat–an appropriate word when discussing these spineless senators and recreant representatives–the GOP introduced the idea of repairing Obamacare instead of repealing it.
With this background, and with the honeymoon period that typically follows an election about to come to an abrupt end, Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have had enough. They are demanding that Speaker Paul Ryan get the ball rolling by reintroducing the 2015 repeal bill as the bare minimum starting point to repealing Obamacare, and they are committing to accept nothing less.
“Functionally, [our idea] eliminates some of the excuses for our Senate colleagues; if they voted on this then, there is no reason they can’t vote on it now,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). “I think a lot of people are looking to some of the policy debates to be an excuse not to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act.”…
“My concern is [a repeal-replace bill] will give some lackadaisical senator a reason to vote against it,” said Freedom Caucus member Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). “My concern is the entire repeal is in mortal danger. … There may be some people who will get weak-kneed.”
This is an excellent idea, but it’s likely to face serious opposition in the Senate. It’s important to remember that the 2015 bill was never intended to pass. It was a political maneuver, not a serious attempt to kill Obamacare.
Interestingly, the House Freedom Caucus may have just provided some cover for McConnell while helping him accomplish another long-term goal–the destruction of Conservative Republicans. It’s likely to go down like this:
- McConnell leads the way for a Senate bill to repair, not replace, Obamacare.
- The House Freedom Caucus opposes the measure. It fails or is seriously delayed.
- McConnell claims that he kept his word.
- McConnell blames extreme right-wing factions for the situation, throwing them under the bus.
- McConnell and Schumer come to a “bipartisan” agreement on the repair bill, keeping most of Obamacare intact, and they rename it Trumpcare.
Obamacare and/or Trumpcare needs to be destroyed. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative of Congress and tell them to get behind the House Freedom Caucus.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.