So what happens to the 259,000 Michiganders whose insurance you want to void, Terri Lynn Land?
The GOP Obamacare repeal fantasy is falling apart and the media seems content to let Republicans pretend it still exists.
Marking the the four-anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law in March, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan reiterated her pledge to repeal the law, which she first made after she adopted a “keep and fix” stand for a whole day.
She followed this promise up by repeating her vague support of Michigan’s Medicaid expansion, which has been wildly successful. More than 200,000 Michiganders, 41.8 percent of those eligible, have already gained Healthy Michigan coverage in less than two months. Land says that governor and the state have done the right thing “while complying with mandates from Congress brought down in ObamaCare.”
But what happens when those mandates go away as they would with the full repeal Land advocates?
Land won’t say.
“She offered her own framework for reducing health care costs, including rules to allow insurers to sell policies across state lines, let residents purchase policies with pre-tax dollars and transfer coverage when they get new jobs,” MLive’s Jonathan Oosting reported.
So Land’s plan doesn’t include any Medicaid expansion. It also features no explanation what would happen to the millions — likely tens of millions — of Americans whose plans would be canceled if plans could be sold over state lines and the current requirements for policies suddenly disappeared. Insurance companies have shown they’re willing to cancel any policy when there’s a suggestion it may not be cost effective. Does the GOP plan include a requirement that private insurers cancel no existing plans?
We have no idea because Republicans haven’t voted on any actual plan and the press hasn’t demanded candidates like Land clarify their magical recipes for fixing everything.
Though we can say with near certainty that the disruptions caused by repealing Obamacare would make the cancelation freakout of late 2013 subatomic by comparison, with the 17.2 – 27.7 million people scrambling to figure out what happens next.
The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent has been documenting how the GOP continues to get away with “utter gibberish” as they defend their completely untenable repeal stand.
It is only getting worse with Senator Mitch McConnell now arguing that an exchange created by the Obamacare and fueled by subsidies and Medicaid expansion isn’t related to Obamacare.
What would happen to the 400,000 Kentuckians who enrolled in coverage through the exchange if Obamacare went away and insurance companies were allowed to cancel policies that have to accept people with pre-existing conditions?
McConnell wants to pretend that their lives wouldn’t be affected.
And he thinks he can get away with it because in his state Obamacare is extremely unpopular but KyNect, the state’s manifestation of Obamacare, is popular. And many people have no idea they’re related at all.
And the media is feeding this fantasy by not asking the simple question: What happens to the people whose insurance you’ll cancel?
Ted Cruz’s career is built on lying to the Republican base. But he was honest about one thing: If Obamacare was allowed to go into effect on November 1, 2013, it would never go away.
If Republicans take power, they can chip at the law, weakening consumer protections etc.. But no electable Republican president is going to make his first act to rip health insurance from tens of millions of Americans.
Yet Republicans are running on that fantasy for a simple reason: their base — and only their base — loves repeal.
And if Republicans start actually having to explain that they can’t make Obamacare disappear, this concession to reality will brand them “RINOs” and kill the base’s enthusiasm.
In 2014, Republicans are running against reality. If the media does its job, reality may bite back.