With 50 Republican senators and President Mitt, kiss life-saving health care reform goodbye
I occasionally disagree with Ezra Klein but I can’t really think of a time when he’s been wrong. (If you can, I’m sure you’ll correct me in the comments.) In a simple way that even a clown like LOLGOP can understand, he explains how politics actually works—whether I like it or not.
He’ll tell you why we don’t have a single-payer or a public option—“moderate” Democratic senators wouldn’t even consider them. And he’ll tell you that President Mitt and a bare majority in the Senate not only could repeal Obamacare, they should.
…if Mitt Romney wins the election and Republicans take control of the Senate, they should repeal the Affordable Care Act. At that point, they will have won two straight elections atop a platform in which repealing the ACA was a central, explicit promise. The American people will have spoken with unusual clarity, and part of what they will have said, whether they meant to say it or not, is repeal the ACA. If Republicans failed to follow through, they would be breaking a central campaign promise.
This is what’s at stake in the next election: life-saving health care for about more than 30 million Americans. We shouldn’t be in denial.
But, you say, wouldn’t the GOP need 60 Senators to repeal ObamaCare? They would, if they were Democrats.
But can’t reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes, only be used to reduce the deficit? Klein explains:
…so what? This is a rule Republicans have already shown themselves perfectly willing to break.
The filibuster wasn’t meant to be used the way GOP uses it. Think they care?
The GOP’s authoritarian worldview—might makes right—makes things Democrats would never consider okay perfectly fair game. So let’s not pretend they will be constrained by precedent. If we let them win, ObamaCare is gone.
Now here’s the REAL problem: To save ObamaCare we can’t run on ObamaCare.
Why? Though millions already benefit from it, the real meat—the 30 million Americans getting health insurance part—doesn’t start until 2014, as you know. And people have a hard time believing what they can’t see. Klein explains, again:
If the Affordable Care Act is ever going to become the popular piece of law that its supporters hope it is, it’s not going to be because Democrats finally figure out the magic jingle necessary to sell it. It’s going to be because it sells itself by providing insurance to 30 million Americans. But it doesn’t really start doing that until 2014. The question for the law’s supporters is how to keep it alive until then. And the answer, at least in the White House, is simple: Reelect Obama.
To reelect Obama we need to focus on defining Mitt Romney as a rich guy who got richer exploiting the public. Yet he doesn’t want to pay his fair share back back. He’s a guy who won’t say if he’ll deport law-abiding students who want to make a future in America. He’s reckless war hawk who went to France when he had his chance to serve. He’s an extremist who wants to write bigotry against gays and lesbians into the Constitution.
Say he’s an outsourcer and an offshorer and a profiteer.
You can point out that millions of Americans have insurance thanks to ObamaCare. Point out how insurance companies are, for the first time, paying rebates because they overcharged patients. You can say that ObamaCare expanded and strengthened Medicare by adding preventative care and cutting waste. You should use the adjective “life-saving” whenever you mention the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.
But I’d focus on how the president rescued the auto industry and millions jobs. How he stopped bin Laden and ended the Iraq War. How he cut taxes for the middle class by thousands of dollars. How he wants to rebuild America after a decade of war. These are things people can see.
Because if we fantasize that the battle for ObamaCare is over, the life you don’t save may be your own.
[Romney image credit: Anne C. Savage]