Some Republicans Rethinking Obamacare Repeal

Greg Sargent - Obamacare RepealAs of today, six GOP Senators have signaled real reservations. There are 52 GOP senators, so if they lose only three, repeal-and-delay would go down to defeat — meaning, in Bloomberg’s words, that right now, there are “more than enough” senators expressing doubt to “scuttle efforts to deliver swiftly on a central promise from President-elect Donald Trump.”

Here’s something to keep an eye on: The overlap between Republicans who are balking at repeal-and-delay with Republicans from red states that have expanded Medicaid.

Numerous GOP Senators have, in some form or other, recently said they don’t want to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act unless Republicans settle on a replacement first. Senator Tom Cotton said: “I think when we repeal Obamacare we need to have the solution in place moving forward.” Senator Rand Paul said: “I think it’s imperative that Republicans do a replacement simultaneous to repeal.” Senator Bill Cassidy also expressed reservations, pointing out that Donald Trump, too, had said he wants to see repeal and replace voted on “simultaneously.”

Senator Susan Collins today said that Republicans should have a detailed alternative blueprint of some kind in place before going forward with the repeal vote. Senator Lamar Alexander has also expressed serious reservations about repeal-and-delay with no guarantee of a replacement. So has Senator Bob Corker.

Senator Alexander’s reservations aren’t that surprising, because he’s the chair of the health and education committee, and probably wants (or so some Democrats believe) a big hand in a replacement bill. Senator Corker’s queasiness isn’t that surprising, either, because he prides himself on being a serious and deliberate lawmaker. Nor is Senator Collins’s reluctance, because she’s positioned herself as centrist-leaning in a bluish state.

But Senators Paul, Cotton, and Cassidy are surprising. They all come from deep red states, and aren’t known for exercising caution towards Obamacare. But all of them come from states that have expanded Medicaid.

–Greg Sargent
More Republicans Are Going Wobbly on Obamacare Repeal

4 thoughts on “Some Republicans Rethinking Obamacare Repeal

  1. “But Senators Paul, Cotton, and Cassidy are surprising. They all come from deep red states, and aren’t known for exercising caution towards Obamacare. But all of them come from states that have expanded Medicaid.”

    Thay all come from very rural states that are benefiting greatly from Obamacare, even though they won’t say it out loud.They want credit for repealing that nasty Obamacare, but not the responsibility for taking away the benefits.

    • This goes back to why Republicans labeled the ACA “Obamacare.” It had to be presented as a Big Gummint takeover of health care, so that when the insurance industry continued to fuck things up, the GOP could point to annoying paperwork and rising deductibles and repeat their same old song “government screws up everything, and we are the party protecting you from Gummint.”

      Now that they’re in charge, it’s a tougher road to follow. How do they remove ACA taxes on the rich, make insurance companies wealthier, and blame Gummint for it when they are the Gummint?

      I suspect they’ll find a way. GOP politicians are not bright bulbs, but they have a small army of think tanks with some very clever minds who are quite skilled at repackaging the same old crap so it seems new and a brilliant solution to everything. These are the people who used to go into advertising. As you’ll note, ads are much less clever these days, and GOP messaging much more sophisticated.

    • Yeah, I suspect this is just toe-dipping. No modern Republican will ever cast the deciding vote against something the mega-rich want. Or they’d kiss bye-bye to their swank post-politics jobs in law firms, lobbying, or on corporate boards. Cast that deciding vote against the rich, and start making plans to teach political science at Cow Tech.

      But if the vote’s sure to safely go their way, the guys with the most vulnerable seats can arrange to cast a meaningless vote in opposition. Ain’t it nice the swamp’s being drained?

      (That was always a dumb metaphor, anyhoo. Some nice critters live in swamps. Very rich ecosystems. Kermit sings songs on his banjo in a swamp. I’d have gone with “clean up the shit.” But unlike Mr. Trump, I do not have the best words.)

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