Republicans Implode on Health

We have previously written that there is no unifying vision for health reform among Republicans in Congress. (See here and here.) Josh Barro apparently thinks there is zero vision. He’s wrong. There are multiple visions and they are all in fundamental conflict.

Not only is there no unifying alternative to ObamaCare, Republicans can’t even agree on minor changes to the act. Divisions in the Republican ranks killed a House bill this week that would have removed about $4 billion from a special Prevention and Public Health Fund (that the administration has been using as a “slush fund” to help finance the creation of health insurance exchanges and is planning to use to propagandize for ObamaCare). The bill would spend most of the money on the new federal risk pools that provide insurance to uninsurable individuals. The administration has frozen enrollment at the current level of 107,000 people, even though there are thousands of other potential enrollees.

So the bill would (1) defund the ObamaCare exchanges, (2) defund the administration’s propaganda efforts, (3) support a health reform idea that almost all Republicans are on record as liking and (4) take away from the Democrats the sole reason they gave for supporting health reform in the first place: insurance for the uninsurable. It had the backing of the Republican leadership, Grover Norquist and most conservative health economists.

Yet it was successfully opposed by the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth. “Subsidizing health care is not what Republicans should be about,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said at a Capitol Hill event organized by the Heritage Foundation.

If you don’t see irony in that, you haven’t been paying attention.

Comments (15)

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  1. Tom says:

    The political system is just so broken that I don’t know how we are still operating under a two-party system. This has got to change.

  2. Politics Debunked says:

    There is a real problem with simply rolling back part or all of Obamacare. As we know it won’t address the myriad existing government interventions into healthcare which were leading the problems to exist in the first place.

    What is likely to happen if the GOP gets there way is that prices will continue to rise due to government intervention. Liberals will try to claim “see, deregulation didn’t work”. We’ll know it wasn’t true deregulation, but have trouble getting through to people because the major shouting being done now is about Obamacare as the major evil rather than the entire mess government made of things.

    Obviously folks like Dr. Goodman and others have been pointing out the entire system is broken. Perhaps it is best if the GOP doesn’t manage to do partial deregulation before getting that message through to the public to get them to go for a true free market.. or at least to be able to understand that any continued problems are due to continued government intervention.

    The problem is that many pushing free market approaches are focused on preaching to the free market choir. Liberals are often concerned about corporate influence on government, so we need to focus on spinning the problems in language they understand, pointing out that the mess is due to “crony capitalism”, as this page details:

    The issue is to focus on a message that may get them to pay attention to then hear the rest of the message. Gallup polls (among others) show that 70% or more of the public has positive views of small companies and tech companies, so they do value competition. Most have negative views of both large companies and the federal government (and we know that most of the negatives about large companies arise form those that are government propped oligopolies/monopolies).

  3. Hoads says:

    Obamacare has already imploded on its own. Why then should Republicans do anything to try to right the ship in any way that might save face for Democrats after they rammed this through on a public that was against it from the start and still is? Obamacare was passed under a deceptive legislative trick when Scott Brown was voted in to rescind the 60th vote for Obamacare. No matter. Dems rammed it down our throats even as they admitted not having read the bill, used blatant lies and propaganda disseminated by a sycophantic media.

    We just need to take our medicine and our entire healthcare system is going to suffer precisely because of Obamacare without any help from the Republicans.

    You can be sure if some major legislation was passed along party lines the Dems objected to- they would be actively engaged in sabotage for political gain. — see the FAA furloughs.

    I’m tired of pansy asses. We’re at war for the soul of this country and the sooner we go down, the faster we can start anew. Our healthcare system has been killed by a thousand cuts. This last one sliced an artery.

  4. I.C. Redenbacher says:

    Dysfunction, Washington’s new middle name. I blame electoral politics, the death of the moderate and an extremely polar climate driven by an “our way or the highway” attitude.

  5. Ryan says:

    Well then, we’ll just have to wait and do nothing until we experience repercussions. Good to know politicians are working so hard for the people.

  6. diogenes says:

    I guess Alan Grayson was right. The republicans only believe the rich should live.

  7. Tyson says:

    Unfortunately, Republicans continue to in-fight and bicker. If they are unable to unite, they will continue to lose legislative battles.

  8. Irving Toller says:

    @Toads, I find it hard to swallow your sentiment. I agree that Obamacare will fail epically. But as an American, I’m not willing to let millions of people suffer as the system tanks just for a political victory. Not everyone has to stoop that low.

  9. Irving Toller says:

    @Diogenes, that can’t be true! Alan Grayson is surely wrong. Who then would be left to do the housekeeping, manicure the lawn and hand out towels at the country club!?

  10. Hoads says:

    @Irving well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The entire population is currently suffering under the weight of socialized programs for the elderly proposed as good and compassionate policies that are unsustainable and now consumes the majority of our tax expenditures. Sorry if my cynicism seems harsh but piling on another big government socialized program to “fix” the problems those programs have foisted onto the private sector is precisely the definition of insanity.

  11. H. James Prince says:

    Actually, insanity is “a characteristic of a person who is mentally deranged; operating under utter senselessness”

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that your definition is the “precise definition of insanity”, but is shows the associated traits well enough.

  12. Hoads says:

    @H. Prince Actually, I’m referring to Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result😶

  13. Erik says:

    The Republicans are finding fault with their own Heritage Foundation produced reform plan. They should have shook Obama’s hand for being courageous in offering a Republican based reform plan but did not have the conviction to do so. They played politics. Once you jump the shark you lose all credibility.

  14. Bob Hertz says:

    I do not know the context of the comment by Rep Labrador, but the quote above is enough to make the reader toss his cookies.

    Republicans were happy to subsidize health care in 2003, when Delay et all ramroodded Medicare Part D without a nickel of new taxes. The sublplot was that this would secure Florida for George W Bush in the 2004 elections.

    Republicans were happy to subsidize Medicare in the 2012 election when they criticized Obama for taking away benefits from senior citizens.

    A serious skeptic could not be blamed for thinking that Republicans and Tea Partiers were delighted with subsidies for older white persons, but opposed to Medicaid subsidies for younger persons of color.

    Someone please prove to me that Rep Labrador is not a massive hyppcrite.

  15. Greg Scandlen says:

    Well, I would have been a lot happier about the proposal if they had used the money to fund state risk pools instead of the wasteful and duplicative federal pools.