January 7, 2016

"Republicans finally pass an Obamacare repeal. Do GOP voters care?"

"Republicans have never passed an Obamacare repeal through both houses of Congress, forcing Obama to veto. That changed Wednesday."
... Americans already know where the president stands on these issues. Observers say the real point is to remind voters what could happen if a Republican is sitting in the Oval Office and the GOP keeps control of Congress....
How did the bill get through the Senate? They used “budget reconciliation.”
The process allows a bill to avoid a Senate filibuster and pass by simple majority. It’s this procedure that Democrats used to pass the health care law in the first place – and it’s this route that Republicans, after gaining control of the Senate last year, used to finally get this bill to the president’s desk.


traditionalguy said...

That's a pretty bold Bill for a one eyed fat Majority Party, yelled back The Outlaw President waiving his Veto.

Emil Blatz said...

Live by it, die by it!

jaed said...

Does anyone think they would have done this if a president who would not veto it were in the White House?

MadisonMan said...

It's not the voters who care. It's the people who pay politicians' bills. They've commanded "Jump" and are now appreciating that their lackeys have achieved sufficient height.

If Republicans had a suitable alternative that went along with this repeal their case to the voters would be a lot stronger. As it is, this looks like political play-acting.

What if Obama didn't veto, and Obamacare were repealed? How would the markets react? (I'd say a big sell-off, no business will like the uncertainty. Then Mean Republicans can be blamed for it).

The Godfather said...

It's pretty late, given that the GOP has controlled both houses for a long time. But better late than never I suppose, particularly if this is only the beginning.

Birkel said...

Is reconciliation the new rule of the Senate? Is that a bad thing? It's hard to know whether it's bad until a Republican is in the White House and both camera of Congress are controlled by Republicans.

In those days we will learn if reconciliation is a bad thing.

Bay Area Guy said...

Yes. Next question?

ObamaCare is a massive Left-Wing failure. It remains wildy unpopular. It has caused major increases in the cost of health insurance, it has caused major distortions n the market. And, no, you don't get to keep your doctor, because doctors are leaving the field, due to this government monstrosity.

Good for the GOP in trying to repeal it. Make Obama veto it. And every GOP candidate should run on repealing it.

tim in vermont said...

This is a fig leaf. They had a chance to drag the vastly unpopular Cadillac tax and Medical Device tax before the public with the rest of it, but they repealed the things the Democrats wanted repealed in the budget deal. That budget deal was it for me with the Republicans. I don't care any more.

Seeing Red said...

LOOK LOOK BASE LOOK AT WHAT WE DID, ignore Trump and the omnibus and the other things you don't like that we passed, we can stay in charge, really we can!

Chuck said...

Of course the "repeal" vote doesn't mean much, because a non-overridable veto is inevitable. It will be a nullity. Blame Obama for that; I know I will. But that's the fact and we aren't going to change it.

Of course, that is why it wasn't a big deal to begin with, and why the self-proclaimed haters of the supposed "GOP establishment" ought to settle down.

btw; I'm not dumb, and the comment above from "tim in vermont" is a smart one. But the question is what he will do without Republicans, or if millions of people like him withdraw support from Republicans (instead of trying his level best to move the Party in his direction). And of course, tim ought to know that he'd get a veto for the strategy he is proposing as well.

tim in vermont would do better to focus his ire on Mr. Obama, than on Republicans who would listen carefully to tim's concerns.

SteveR said...

I suppose I shouldn't be amazed at the ignorance on display. But the process is deliberately confusing and complex and makes sense in only the most inside Washington way. But come on, if you don't understand that having a filibuster enabled Senate in the hands of a Harry Reid and an uncompromising democratic president, makes the simplistic notions of how government should work a fantasy, then I don't know what to do.

Bob Ellison said...

jaed said, "Does anyone think they would have done this if a president who would not veto it were in the White House?"

I'm trying to understand why you ask this. Do you intend to imply that this move was just window dressing, and the GOP is as much in the tank for the ACA as the Democrats are?

The Drill SGT said...

Where it may help the GOP a bit is that during the Veto Override vote, it forces Dem Senators to defend the indefensible again...

grackle said...

Live by it, die by it!

But this happened only because of Trump. It should have happened as soon as the Senate majority was captured but establishment Republicans are a timid lot. Without uttering a word against our passive GOP congress Trump has changed the rules of the game in the congress. It’s Trump’s ascendance that has forcefully sewed a pair of balls on our previously cowed congress. They are afraid of a flood of primary challenges and need to repair their reputation. They have three choices now, get on board the Trump bus, miss the bus or get run over by the bus.

I’m imagining what it will be like after Trump is sworn in as POTUS. One thing for sure – the present template of political correctness will be scornfully thrown on the trash heap of discarded customs – if it’s not already.

PC has been a potent tool for Lefties since the sixties. Our national discourse has been skewed, twisted and censored for over 50 years. It has been used to kill honest criticism and the airing of alternate opinion before it could be voiced – a bit like abortion with babies.

But if your POTUS is the champion of anti-PC, the brilliant destroyer of treasured shibboleths, those beautiful babies can be delivered without the MSM/academic/pundit filters usually wielded to yank them out of the womb before they are born.

Rejoice, America, your vocabulary is about to be expanded. Some new babies are going to be cooing in their cribs, happy to see the light of day.

You’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus.

BrianE said...

It's a promise fulfilled, but it's unknown if what Jaed said is correct.

This is exactly why the democrats rolled out provisions so slowly (or delayed implementation) to create a favored industry and constituency making repeal less likely.

What needs to come with this is a unified option B showing a true market driven approach to providing access to health care. As most will remember, after Obamacare implemented, certain segments of the population continued to use emergency services for their primary care, which was supposedly one of the reasons for the whole thing-- to set right the skewed use of resources.

Conservatives all along have maintained that this was just a trojan horse for single payer as it was not going to reduce costs, was going to limit, not increase access, and increase the public's disaffection with insurance companies.

So yes, I care, but also realize that many cowards are manning the front lines against the never ending advances of the progressive/socialist agenda.

eric said...

If Republicans had a suitable alternative that went along with this repeal their case to the voters would be a lot stronger. As it is, this looks like political play-acting.

I've never understood this line of thinking and have always thought it was only low information voters who held this view. Since I have respect for MM it seems I was wrong.

What gives? A suitable alternative is going back to the way things were before Obamacare. I guess you could say obamacare improved things and therefore, reverting back isn't suitable. Is that your argument?

Otherwise, repealing obamacare means going back to the way things were.

As to my comments on this passing of the repeal. Stupid. If they wanted to repeal it, then why did they fully fund it?

garage mahal said...

You see were TRYING to repeal ObamaCare, voters. Maybe we'll get em next time! #suckers

mccullough said...

Send him more shit to veto. Get rid of presidential pensions since all these assholes make tens of millions giving speeches to Saudis

Scott M said...

What if Obama didn't veto, and Obamacare were repealed? How would the markets react?

I know how I'd react. I'd be pleased that my health insurance premiums weren't going to increase another 100% next year like they did this year. Seriously. Triple digit increase and from $5k deductable to $10k. From $20 copays to $40. That cost curve...it's bending alright...

khesanh0802 said...

@kaed Absolutely, in a NY minute.

who-knew said...

I agree with 'tim in vermont'. The budget deal was such an abject surrender that I know longer care what the Republicans do. They can not be trusted.

rehajm said...

It's much closer to how it's supposed to work compared to the informal votes preventing things making it to the floor. Absent intervention the exchanges will collapse once the loss subsidies run out next year. It's good to have yet another marker to show how all in they were on this. History will not be kind.

MadisonMan said...

A suitable alternative is going back to the way things were before Obamacare.

Can you really unscramble the egg though? You can repeal ACA, yes, and then what?

Won't the forces that conspired to ram the thing down the Nation's throat simply realign?

Obama vetoing ACA would be a huge gift to Hillary!! though, so I don't expect it to happen. And it may be enjoyable to see Democratic Senators defend the thing, again. But I suspect we'll just hear Hard Luck stories of people made whole by medical treatment.

Original Mike said...

"As to my comments on this passing of the repeal. Stupid. If they wanted to repeal it, then why did they fully fund it?"

I believe the answer to your question is they didn't want a government shutdown fight with Obama leading into an election year. You can agree or disagree with that strategy, but the motive is not nefarious.

Gahrie said...

tim in vermont would do better to focus his ire on Mr. Obama, than on Republicans who would listen carefully to tim's concerns.

....while patting him on the head and explaining to him that he needed to shut up and vote for the establishment candidate.

eric said...

Can you really unscramble the egg though? You can repeal ACA, yes, and then what?

While there is always turmoil in such situations, I predict there would be a lot less than it took to get the ACA going. And the sooner its killed the better. The longer we live with a thing the more entrenched it becomes.

Plus, I would rather see our government deal with these problems one at a time in smaller measures than all at once, using 2000 pages that no one understands.

Rusty said...

Yeah. We really care. We really cared two years ago too.

Jason said...

What's useful isn't so much getting the President on record vetoing the bill. What's useful is getting Democrats in purple districts who weren't there in 2010 on record, either supporting the GOP while they can be primaried, or voting for Obamacare so they can be strung up like a sheep carcass for the voters in the general.

Hagar said...

We cannot go back to the way it was before Obamacare.
The insurance industry has changed with mergers and acquisitions and so has the medical profession. You cannot put scrambled eggs back in their shells.
So, whatever happens next, it is going to be different from either what was before or what is now.

BrianE said...

"...a May 2015 RAND corporation study estimated that 22.8 million got coverage and 5.9 million lost plans for a net total of 16.9 million newly insured. 9.6 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, followed by Medicaid (6.5 million), the individual marketplaces (4.1 million), nonmarketplace individual plans (1.2 million) and other insurance sources (1.5 million). To clarify that is 4.1 million newly enrolled in the Marketplace and 7.1 who transitioned to Marketplace coverage for a total of 11.2 million."- Obamacarefacts.com

"So if we look at HHS / CMS estimates we see that of the 11.7 million 9.9 are still paying and enrolled (that is actually way more impressive than last year where we saw 8 million drop to 4.5 million)."-Obamacarefacts.com

So at this point in the Obamacare saga, 9.9 million additional Americans have health insurance (not counting the 7 million added to Medicaid).
This still leaves 11.4% of Americans ages 18-64 without insurance-- or 36 million people. While proponents tout how well the program is working, this is certainly a half glass full kind of story. More than half of Americans that didn't have insurance when Obamacare began still don't have health insurance.

And in all fairness this is totally irrelevant and distracting from the issues. What are the subsidized costs actually costing the taxpayer?
How many of these plans are high deductible that will be abandoned when the covered starts realizing how little their premiums are getting them?
And is it any easier to get to see a doctor than before and have the costs really been contained and what is the future prognosis for costs?

I have read several Republican plans that show promise to help Americans with their health care costs, but all of them come with additional costs to the taxpayer. In our current political environment moving health care costs to the taxpayer is unavoidable. But to what extent can we minimize those costs, reduce government intrusions into our lives, and increase individual responsibility for their life choices and subsequent health care costs from these choices?

Chuck said...

Gahrie: Honestly, the one Republican who I think is LEAST LIKELY TO UPSET OBAMACARE is Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed fan of Canada's national health system.


Trump might have some odd way of explaining himself, but I think you are just plain stupid for believing him and falling in line with the guy. He's going to lose, eventually. He's going to be a YUUUUGE loser. A DISASTER. (It's so fun to talk like an arrogant New York asshole.)

Hagar said...

The Democrats have tried to create a National Health System without actually having a national health system, which probably is the only thing that is worse than actually having a national health system.
But then, that may be their end game; that Obamacare will cause enough discontent that they can establish an actual NHS.

(It should be noted that the British NHS is the biggest running scandal of the British Government that after 67 years still take up about 1/4 of the time of their weekly "Prime Minister's Questions.")

My personal wish is that the Gov't. would get out of the business entirely, except for its mandated duty of protecting us from fraud and other criminal activities, but I don't think that is going to happen. At least not in my lifetime.

Eustace Chilke said...

The Republican house is not really full of two-faced con artists or total pussies. No way. Just look at the boldness of their opposition and feel the chagrin, you doubters.

Unknown said...

What exactly prevents insurance companies from issuing insurance policies (if UACA is repealed) modeled on policies before UACA was invented? Mergers and acquisitions?

This is not a snark, I'm really curious about what actual barriers to restoring health care insurance. Insurance companies are losing money that is being made up for by government; what management would allow UACA to keep going without Uncle Sam's contribution?

rehajm said...

After the ACA

Hagar said...

The remaining medical insurance companies are all as big and sclerotic as the government itself and set up around what they believed the system was going to be like. Making them change now will be like maneuvering the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sopund, and they are going to resist like a government agency would.
Also because opening the system to changes will also open it to competition, which is what Harry Reid promised them would be a thing of the past.

walter said...

So..though not fully implemented, where are we at regarding the cost promised to get it passed (so we could see it)?

n.n said...

that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable

Americans have adapted to liberal fiscal policies that devalue capital and labor, and not only preserve but progress the status quo. Unfortunately, we have grown tolerant to lack of reform in the medical and political sectors of our economy and society.

Real American said...

Congress should just call this repeal a "legislative order". Law of the land!

Meeeea said...

I'm curious as well. When I was in the ACA debacle, I had a BC/BS plan that had literally the same plan number as the one available on the open market. The premium, if I recall correctly, was:
Under the ACA: 848.00 mo., of which 400.00 was "subsidized", so I paid 448.00 per mo.
W/O the ACA/on the open market, it was approx 450.00 per mo.

So for the same exact plan, if I paid 50.00 more per month, taxpayers would save 400.00 per month. But I couldn't, due to a preexisting (but cured prior to the ACA) Cancer DX, I could not apply for the open market plans. And that's not counting the near-trillion this govt spent in building the website, paying all the bogus (insider) "sign up" exchanges (as you see at the mall, or at PP), and for the EHR's etc. Even at that, before one could use the plan, ridiculous amounts in copays and deductibles had to be met. (I'm not on that plan anymore.)

No doubt it needs to be abolished. I guess one thing (among others) that could be done to avoid my scenario, is to do a legit research survey now of what percentage of people are on an ACA plan solely due to the preexisting issue. Let's say it's 20%--then just have a bulk amount of funds sent to each ins co (if you eliminate the exchange middleman plans, there are only a few major insurers) and set tight definitions for "preexisting" so they cannot claim at a later time they were short changed.

Beyond that, maybe up the medicaid qualifying limit a bit, and force those within those ranges that do not have other insurance to carry it.

These efforts would probably increase the amount of insured persons, and save tons of govt insider awards, 100's of billions in wasted govt programs and paperwork, etc. It would be a start at least. (I acknowledge it's far more complex, but this would be a start. Most people (outside of medicaid, where you don't have a choice) are beyond unhappy with the ACA plans. I know of people losing their homes due to the drastic increase in premiums. It was one ill-begotten, evil, full of insiders getting rich, scam to undermine our system and impose govt control over whom, and what type/how much, medical care a person receives. It's the epitome of anti-Americanism.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eh, it strikes me that it's a particularly bad time to actually get this done--people who are against the ACA will still be against it later in the year, but now people who are net beneficiaries (or think they are) of the ACA are going to hear Hillary Clinton talk about how important it is to keep the Republicans out of the White House (and Senate & House) since they've shown that they're willing to take the ACA away from people--it's not just rhetoric, they all just voted to do it. They're coming for your pills, grannies, vote Hillary to save yourself!

Trump's popularity on the Right shows that lots of Repubs. already dislike/distrust the Repub. establishment, and this vote doesn't do anything, at this point, to counter that.

Not sure I see the benefit, really, other than the theater aspect allowing the Media to make the President & Democrats look heroic and generous.

cubanbob said...

Nice but just a stunt.If the Republicans were serious they would have done to Obama what the Democrats did to Reagan with the defense budget:tie to it something that Obama would never veto. Since they didn't its just a sham.

Gahrie said...


You haven't been paying attention. I am scared of a Trump presidency. I think he is a rabblerouser and a demagogue, and he truly brings Hitler and Mussolini to mind.

That being said, i understand why people like him and support him, and I blame his popularity (and Sanders' on the Left) on the Washington establishment in both parties.

The problem you, and the establishment, are making is thinking that Trump and Sanders are the problem. they aren't. They're the symptoms. People like you and the establishment are the problem.

BrianE said...

rehajm @ 12:58pm

Interesting analysis by John Cochrane

Worth the read

n.n said...


Beware of overlapping and convergent interests.

It must also be noted that the Democrats have demonstrated time and again a willingness bordering on enthusiasm to exploit sensitive information, special access, and stoke the prejudice of "minority" classes as leverage to marginalize or suppress competing interests.

grackle said...

Honestly, the one Republican who I think is LEAST LIKELY TO UPSET OBAMACARE is Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed fan of Canada's national health system.

Just in the interest of fairness, readers, let’s have a look at the actual transcript of that debate …

Baier: 15 years ago … You were for a single-payer system … Why were you for that then and why aren't you for it now?


So I just want to say: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age[15 years ago] you're talking about here.

It looks to me that 15 years ago Trump didn’t know shit about national healthcare systems and made a silly statement. At the time(2000, 2001?) healthcare wasn’t the burning issue it is today. I’ll forgive him for that, especially since he seems to have caught up with the issue in the meantime, as illustrated by his next words:

What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I'm negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid.

This is the same thing that any Obamacare opponent would say, which is to allow Americans to buy health insurance from companies across state borders. Ordinary anti-Obamacare, pro-private insurance fare.

You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage.

But they have total control of the politicians. They're making a fortune. Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can't take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.


The commentor’s statement is in the present tense and implies that Trump is all for Obamacare today. But that’s not true.

15 years ago Trump was a successful real estate mogul who was looking out for his business’s interests. Not having to pay to provide healthcare insurance to his employees while the government took care of all that must have seemed mighty tempting and made good business sense at the time. Indeed, from his viewpoint then he would have been bereft in his duties as a business owner to have a different opinion.

Since then, with passing of the law and the subsequent failure of Obamacare, he’s apparently learned otherwise. I venture to say that many folks have vastly different opinions today than they had 15 years ago. About Obamacare and about a lot of issues. Evolution of opinion is common as dirt and is the reason that Democrats win elections sometimes and Republicans win other times. Witness the national evolution of opinion on same sex marriage in the last 15 years. But if you believe Trump is going to betray his supporters after he is in the Whitehouse then by all means vote for someone else. Myself, I’ll take Trump over the others. You’re either on the bus or off the bus.

mikeyes said...

The ACA has been in existence for five years now and it is not just a version of the Heritage Foundations answer to Hillarycare. Rather it is a complex wholesale change in the way our medical system (or non-system) worked and it includes significant changes in the way medical care is financed, how hospitals buy their equipment and supplies, how the relationships between medical organizations occur and how standards of care are set. It has fundamentally changed the way medical care is offered in this country without actually being a national health service. Basically it regulates insurance and more comprehensively regulates how medicine works, especially how it is financed.

Right now there are super organizations of hospitals, clinics and care organizations such as medical schools formed into Affordable Care Organizations going into competition against each other. The purpose of these organizations is to cut down on costs and to increase safety and efficiency but the real outcome may be the formation of oligarchies that control how medical care is delivered as insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and other interested parties become involved. Total elimination without an alternative would be disastrous because it would plunge a stable system into chaos no matter how you feel about the way it appears to work. That's never good. The cost to states alone is astronomical.

This is big money (12% of GDP, do the math) and it will draw the greedy and organized to the flame. There is no incentive for those stakeholders to want the ACA to go away, just ask Scott Walker who drew the ire of the hospital associations in WI (who are all staunch Republicans.). The government is only facilitating the process.

For those of you who want the government to get out of the medicine business you better ask your aged parents about that or your uncle the veteran. Basically Medicare and the VA are low cost alternatives to the insurance companies (Medicare runs a 5% administrative cost) and while they are kludge and subject to all the government problems, they are something that elderly voters and veterans would not like to see eliminated. It would be nice to have Part D made competitive like the VA, however.