GOP, GOPocrisy, Obama — June 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm

GOP: Obamacare is evil. Except when it makes me look very, very good.


GOPocrisy at it finest

Lee Fang has a great piece up at The Nation this week detailing new evidence of the unrelenting hypocrisy of Republican legislators on the Affordable Care Act. After spending four years demonizing it, many of them continue reap the political gains from the benefits it brings to their communities.

Even before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans were vowing to repeal it. It’s no wonder, because polls showed that the basic elements of the ACA were quite popular, and there was a real danger that it would become more so as people found out that the plan denounced as a “monstrosity” by the National Republican Senatorial Committee would not trample on their liberties so much as help protect their health. Desperate to avoid this, the GOP-controlled House has voted no fewer than thirty-seven times to repeal Obamacare in the three years since it was enacted.

Now letters produced by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that many of these same anti-Obamacare Republicans have solicited grants from the very program they claim to despise. This is evidence not merely of shameless hypocrisy but of the fact that the ACA bestows tangible benefits that even Congress’s most extreme right-wing ideologues are hard-pressed to deny to their constituents.

Fang has the letters, over twenty of them, posted at The Nation. Among them are National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Jerry Moran from Kansas and Representative Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, shown here at ground breaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies in their districts:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee warns of Obamacare that “as this awful legislation gets ever closer to going into effect, the negative consequences are only becoming increasingly clear.” But the NRSC’s chair, Jerry Moran, has hailed programs that exist because of it. In August, he attended a ceremony announcing a $4.7 million expansion of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. {…}

Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican who has led efforts to repeal healthcare reform, stood next to a 6-foot stack of papers he dubbed the “Obamacare Red Tape Tower of Regulations” at a press conference in May. In October, Cassidy posed for a different type of press event, standing with school administrators in Baton Rouge, scissors in hand, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for three school-based health centers. The ceremony was a celebration of a $500,000 grant authorized by the Affordable Care Act to expand health clinics in area schools.

I knew this was happening. As Fang points out, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan himself got busted for it (by Lee Fang, in fact) last year. But I don’t think anyone realized the extent of this outrageous hypocrisy. It’s part and parcel of the GOP’s efforts to make sure nothing that the Obama administration has done, including health insurance reform, is viewed by Americans as successful or good.

Even when it is both.