Affordable Care Act, Terri Lynn Land — March 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Republicans in purple states — like Terri Lynn Land — can’t tell the truth about Obamacare


12 million success stories and counting…


You have to admire Ted Cruz’s honesty.

Dude wants to repeal Obamacare and do pretty much nothing about the nearly five million uninsured Texans, except point to their bootstraps. He’s proud that his state rejected Medicare expansion, which could have covered about one million of his constituents. He does not like the ACA in a box, in his socks and especially when he’s on Fox.

Likely GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Michigan Terri Lynn Land can’t just say “NO!” to the president’s health law.

She has already flipped her position on Obamacare at least three times since she began her campaign, which has featured exactly zero preannounced public appearances.

First, she said she felt the law should be kept and fixed, the position of 64 percent of Americans. Facing a backlash and fearing a primary challenge, she said she was for full repeal the next day.

When Rep. Gary Peters — her likely opponent — called out her out for opposing Michigan’s Medicaid expansion, which will cover as many as 500,000 Michiganders when it goes into effect on April 1, Land flipped again to the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent, saying she was for expansion, even though that position directly contradicts the goal of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed group that has spent millions on her behalf attacking Peters.

Folding on expansion was a no-brainer. She’s running in a state President Obama won by 9.5 percent. It’s the part of the law that’s popular even in the Deep South as it covers those working people who earn too much for Medicaid while cutting rates in the exchange by as much as 15 percent.

Unfortunately for Land, it’s not the only popular part of the law.

This week, Land held a call to bash Obamacare that ended up with a spew of nonsense and falsehoods. When asked about her plan to deal with people pre-existing conditions, Land’s aide Heather Swift took over the call and presented a falsehood that could end up costing people dearly, if they took her seriously.

“The problem with Obamacare is that it allows people to wait until they’re very sick to purchase insurance, which creates significant and unknown risks to insurers and then the insurance companies would pass that cost on to consumers,” Swift said.

Salon‘s Brian Beutler explained the problem with that assertion:

I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it’s wrong, and actually potentially dangerous. It’s true that the ACA requires insurers to sell to all eligible beneficiaries, regardless of their health status, and prohibits them from charging sick people more than healthy people. Anyone who’s shopped on the exchange should have noticed that, because of these provisions, the application contains no medical underwriting form. But the law also establishes annual open-enrollment periods.

People who wait till they’re sick to get coverage can’t get coverage — unless they’re lucky enough to get sick during an open enrollment period, which ends March 31 and then doesn’t begin again until November 15.

Under Land’s “plan,” people only people who remain covered are guaranteed coverage. If your coverage lapses for any reason, you’re out of luck. That means tens of millions of Americans will be out of luck.

Land’s “kind of full repeal” plan is problematic and exactly the kind of mishmash that will dispirit her supporters and confuse everyone else. She hasn’t said what she would do about the Medicare doughnut hole that Obamacare closes, nor has she taken a stand on Attorney General Bill Schuette’s lawsuit to deny Michigander millions in tax credits that the state’s residents will have to pay for anyway.

As a result, she’s falling in the polls.

Republicans are finally admitting that there’s no way out of Obamacare that the public will accept (except perhaps Medicare for All).

The Washington Examiner‘s Bryon York laid out the predicament to his fellow conservatives on Wednesday:

Republicans are still determined to repeal Obamacare, even though they have famously failed to unite behind an alternative. Now, it is dawning on some in the GOP that even if they succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act, and even if they pass an alternative, they will still have to come up with a plan to get from here to there. Right now, they don’t have one.

After campaigning against insurance cancellations, the GOP is left campaigning for 12 to 15 million cancellations with no plan to make anyone whole.

It’s no wonder Terri Lynn Land has to hide.

Scott Brown — who is now on a “listening tour” to decide if he’ll run in New Hampshire — can’t hide. But he can’t tell the truth either.

Like Land, Brown said he was for “full repeal.” But the former Senator refuses to take a stand on Medicaid expansion, which is being debated in his new home state. Unlike Land, Brown actually has to win a primary. His support of Romneycase as a state legislator complicates his situation even more. If Brown does make it past the primary, the chances of him supporting an expansion compromise supported by 66 percent of the state are about 100 percent.

Obamacare’s biggest problem is that its most popular features are its least well known.

But as campaigns continue and coverage becomes a reality, Land and Brown are going to have to come up with better ways to keep their base from rebelling while accepting the reality of Obamacare.