Left With Nothing To Show For It
by Deacon Blues
"I believe that the healthcare bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best healthcare system in the world, and bankrupt our country. That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care."
--Incoming House Speaker John Boehner, this morning
The sad thing about what happened yesterday, and the naiveté of the Obama administration's short-sightedness on the stimulus and over-attention on health care reform is in plain view today. For those of you who think the GOP doesn't really have an agenda for the next two years, you're wrong. Their agenda is to:
1) Undo everything that has been passed these last two years; and
2) Return the country to the Bush tax and regulatory policies.
For all of Obama's focus on his legacy-building health care vanity effort, he forgot one basic thing: it doesn't mean a damn thing if you can't make it stick.
"The American people are concerned about the government takeover of healthcare. I think it is important for us to lay the groundwork before we begin to repeal this monstrosity and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance in America," Boehner said at a brief press appearance with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.
A few minutes later, House Republican Conference chairman Mike Pence repeated their call.
"House Republicans will not rest until we repeal Obamacare lock, stock and barrel. We’re going to do everything in our power to pass legislation to completely start over," he said.
Sure, his supporters will say the GOP can't repeal it without presidential agreement, and yes, Obama himself said today that repeal is a "nonstarter." But the GOP has already told him they're aiming to do it anyway, and they now have control of the budget process to force his hand. They can either defund it or force a shutdown. And they'll use the right wing media machine and a new round of nutcase anger to make things really dangerous next spring when he digs in his heels, assuming he doesn't go wobbly before then. That's why not focusing on the economy first and foremost, and avoiding a drubbing was all that mattered, and yet here we are.
As for the GOP "agenda" on health care, they've never cared about covering the uninsured. All they care about is industry-defined "affordability". Before they start the frontal assault for repeal next year, we'll hear the familiar drumbeat as a panacea and alternative: tort reform, expanded HSA's and tax credits, selling across state lines, and more industry tax and regulatory relief, none of which will do anything to help those who already can't afford health insurance. But again, the GOP doesn't care about the covering the "slackers" or actually fixing the problem. All they care about is protecting industry profits and monopolies in a post Citizens United world.
Will Democrats figure out how to deal with this?