If only we could have a big election or something to decide if we wanted Obamacare.
On Friday, House Republicans voted to embrace a strategy that ties “defunding Obamacare” to keeping the government open, a position embraced by about 27 percent of the population.
They’re denying it publicly but what’s obvious is that for the strategy the GOP is embracing to work they would have to shut down the government for month — not just for a few days but for weeks, possibly months.
“This, like so many other legislative debates, might well take several volleys between House and Senate,” Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) — the architect of the defund plan along with Ted Cruz (R-TX) — said this week.
The technicalities of Senate procedure are even more abstruse and nerdy than Fantasy Football. But here’s the gist of what’s about to happen — and it is insane.
The bill that Cruz and Lee demanded will get a vote in Senate next week. And once the Democrats in the Senate strip the measure that defunds Obamacare — but doesn’t actually stop Obamacare from being implemented — Cruz and Lee will oppose and possibly even filibuster their own bill while trying to destroy any Republican who considers voting for it. If that works, we get a shutdown.
If that fails, the bill will go to a conference, where Republicans will demand a delay to Obamacare. When that fails, Speaker Boehner has to convince his caucus to go along what is still a huge win for Republicans, in that it puts spending lower than Democrats want it while restoring Defense cuts. Or if Republicans are still afraid to vote for a bill that Cruz, Lee and the Tea Party will say implies they support Obamacare, the speaker has to decide if he wants to negotiate with Democrats to actually keep our government open and solvent.
If Cruz and Lee get their way, Republicans will keep their stand up until the situation is so disastrous and dire that President Obama actually gives in and surrenders the life-saving legislation he risked his presidency to pass.
Would the stock market have to lose thousands of points for this to happen? Would thousands of soldiers and government officials have to lose their homes? Some Republicans are willing to find out.
And that’s what they’re celebrating in the video above.
They’re also celebrating:
- The return of pre-existing conditions for children and adults, meaning you can be charged more or denied coverage if you’re sick, female or the victim of a crime.
- The return of rescissions where insurance companies could revoke your coverage when you need it the most.
- The end of tax credits that will help an estimated 26 million Americans afford health insurance.
- The end of Medicaid expansion that will help millions of working Americans get insurance for the first time and encourage those on Medicaid now to rise out of poverty.
- The end of regulations that require insurance companies to pay 80-85 percent on actual care.
- The end free preventative care for Medicare patients and higher costs for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D.
All of these provisions on their own are quite popular. Put them together with the one thing that makes them work, the individual mandate, they become Obamacare and far less popular. The right has spend hundreds of millions making this so using the same tactics that turned the Stimulus, which boosted the American economy and put us in a lot better shape for the future, into a dirty word.
But they couldn’t defeat the man who the plan is now named after. So they’re cheering how far they will try to go to invalidate that defeat.
“This plan is right out of Alice in Wonderland,” conservative David Freddoso wrote on Friday.
The real problem is, it only works if they take us down the rabbit hole with them.
[Photo: Amy Lynn Smith]