GOP Tries to Save Face on Obamacare Repeal Fiasco

Seantor Pat RobertsSarah Kliff and Jeff Stein over at Vox wrote, Senate Republicans Not Ready to Give up on Obamacare Repeal. Although there is shockingly little evidence in the article. It is mostly just a chance for various Republicans to grouse about the law. Here’s my favorite from Seantor Pat Roberts, “Obviously we’re going to have to do something because our health care system is like Thelma and Louise. They drove it off the cliff and we need to stop that car.”

Leave aside the fact that once the car drove off the cliff you can’t stop it. I want to know where the catastrophe is The article is filled with all kinds of claims like this. Senator John Kennedy gets the depth of thought of the Republicans perfectly when he said, “I think the main area of consensus is that Obamacare sucks and we can do better.” I’ll come back to that “we can do better” in a moment.

Ridiculous Obamacare Repeal Rhetoric

I’m getting tired of this ridiculous Obamacare repeal rhetoric that isn’t backed up by anything other than an occasional (and usually apocryphal) anecdote. As most of you know, I work as a freelancer. But there was a recent possibility of getting another job. And I wasn’t keen on it. Still, I would have taken it in a second because it offered medical and dental coverage. This was during the period where it really looked like the Republicans were going to rip healthcare away from 24 million people and make my premiums go sky high. The truth of the matter is that Obamacare has been a godsend to me. And I am sick to death of hearing Republicans go on about how terrible it is?

How exactly is Obamacare terrible? Because over 20 million more people have health insurance? Because it has decreased healthcare inflation? The truth is that we know why they hate it: it taxes the rich a tiny amount. And fine! If they want to come out and admit that, good for them. The Republicans are the party of the wealthy. If they want to embrace that publicly, they will stop winning any elections, but at least they will show some integrity.

Obamacare Has Been Wildly Successful

In my life, there are two kinds of people:

  1. People who haven’t been affected by Obamacare at all
  2. People who have been helped by Obamacare.

That’s it! So enough with the “Obamacare sucks!” and “Obamacare is going to explode!” Both of those might be true soon thanks to the work of Republicans. But left alone, Obamacare will continue to improve the lives of regular Americans.

“Obviously we’re going to have to do something because our health care system is like Thelma and Louise. They drove it off the cliff and we need to stop that car.” –Senator Pat Roberts

Can Republicans Do Better?

But what about Senator Kennedy’s idea that they “can do better” with Obamacare repeal? Really? Because we have been waiting for many years for this super-great healthcare reform bill from the Republicans. The truth is that Republicans haven’t really worked on something to replace Obamacare because Obamacare is already the most conservative approach to reform that is possible. Any ideas that they have that would actually work always run into the same problem: they are forbidden by conservative dogma.

I have to give some plaudits to the House Freedom Caucus, because a number of them were willing to admit the general problem that Republicans have with Obamacare: it helps people who can’t afford it get health insurance. They don’t think we should do that. Now most people hear that and think that these people are one step below Nazis in terms of humanism. But hey, it’s not my fault the Republicans turned into a postmodern fascist party over the last 40 years.

Saving Face

But I’m not concerned at this point. Kliff and Stein put it well, “What you’re seeing now is a lot of talk about reviving the repeal effort without much substance behind it.” And that’s what this is all about. It’s allowing Republicans to save face. They know they are going to do nothing. But neither they nor the White House likes all the press they’re getting about losing and giving up. So they’ll say they aren’t giving up.

It makes perfect sense! Whatever they say is true because they have fully accepted postmodern analysis: there is no reality, just opinions. So they say Obamacare sucks. And they say they haven’t given up on Obamacare repeal. Neither is true.

But to Republicans it’s just, like, you’re opinion, man.

Republicans: Profits Before Privacy and Freedom

XXXCongress sent proposed legislation to President Trump on Tuesday that wipes away landmark online privacy protections, the first salvo in what is likely to become a significant reworking of the rules governing Internet access in an era of Republican dominance.

In a party-line vote, House Republicans freed Internet service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast of protections approved just last year that had sought to limit what companies could do with information such as customer browsing habits, app usage history, location data and Social Security numbers. The rules also had required providers to strengthen safeguards for customer data against hackers and thieves.

The Senate has voted to nullify those measures, which were set to take effect at the end of this year. If Trump signs the legislation as expected, providers will be able to monitor their customers’ behavior online and, without their permission, use their personal and financial information to sell highly targeted ads — making them rivals to Google and Facebook in the $83 billion online advertising market.

The providers could also sell their users’ information directly to marketers, financial firms and other companies that mine personal data — all of whom could use the data without consumers’ consent. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission, which initially drafted the protections, would be forbidden from issuing similar rules in the future.

–Brian Fung
The House Just Voted to Wipe Away the FCC’s Landmark Internet Privacy Protections