Friday, June 26, 2015

Republicans continue to publicly denounce Obamacare, secretly celebrate SCOTUS decision

The GOP dodged a political bullet when SCOTUS reaffirmed Obamacare and Congress' original intent on nationwide health insurance subsidies. Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel lists a sample of those who breathed a sigh of relief (and uttered silent prayers of thanks).

  • "congressional Republicans have made no progress in creating an alternative to the Affordable Care Act" [and never will]
  • "middle-income families in red states who would naturally look to their GOP representatives for help" [but would not get it]
  • "Republican governors – some of whom also happen to be presidential candidates – who would have been under pressure to create exchange marketplaces in their states to prevent constituents from suffering" [and would have been prevented doing so by their own state legislators]

Nevertheless, GOPlins being GOPlins will continue to harp on a law that works to try to gin up support during the coming election.

For example, Lindsey Graham, GOP candidate for President, clings to the GOPlin message on Obamacare for his 2016 campaign issue. Why not? He's got nothing else cooking. Quoting from politicalwire.com:

"It means that the most significant domestic issue in 2016, at every House race, in every Senate race and for president will be centered around whether or not the country wants to keep Obamacare."
— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by Politico, on the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare subsidies.

Oh, please Senator Graham. Stay that course. Explain to the millions of voters in the battle-ground states why the GOP plan would have worked. Oops. "Plan? There ain't no plan." And there never would have been one. Just more pain and suffering inflicted on the populace by a petulant South Carolina good ole boy and his cronies.

But the cooler GOP heads know that their position is now just for show and that they now do not have to parade their undeliverables to the public. Benen again:

Effectively immediately, Republicans can go back to doing what they’re good at: whining incessantly about an effective law, while avoiding any actual work on health care policy.

They won’t admit it publicly, but plenty of officials in the party know this is true. Indeed, Bloomberg Politics’ Sahil Kapur talked to a senior GOP aide on Capitol Hill this morning who said, in response to this morning’s ruling, "Oh thank God."

But just to prove that it's not over until it's not over, here is just one more reaction from the several quoted in Politico.

[Ted] Cruz, who is running for president, railed against unnamed GOP colleagues whom he contended are "quietly celebrating" that the law was upheld. In an interview after making a speech on the Senate floor railing against the law, he pointedly refused to rule out using spending bills to try to defund the law again — a tactic that led to the government shutdown two years ago.

The Politico headline reads "GOP lawmakers: Time to move on from Obamacare repeal". I wonder if they read their own story.

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