Mitch McConnell Admits That Obamacare is Here to Stay Even if GOP Captures Senate

Mitch McConnell


Following Obamacare’s bumpy rollout, the GOP expected to campaign on a platform of repeal, repeal, repeal. However, as Americans have come to embrace much of the Affordable Care Act in substance, if not yet in name, campaigning on all out repeal has lost its luster. Prominent Republicans cannot fully acknowledge that repealing the law in its entirety at risk of failing the Tea Party’s ideological litmus test, but some are grudgingly coming to terms with the reality of its permanence. Case in point: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In a speech at CPAC back in March, the Kentucky Republican trumpeted his intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act “root and branch.” These days he’s whistling a different tune. In an interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto, McConnell backpedaled:

“Well, it would take 60 votes in the Senate. No one thinks we’re going to have 60 Republicans… And it would take a Presidential signature. No one thinks we’re going to get that.”

The Senate Minority Leader, along with a growing number of moderate Republicans, has quietly come to accept that a complete repeal of Obamacare is virtually out of the question. With 20 million Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act, the “damage,” as the GOP elites see it, is already done. Discontinuing the core elements of Obamacare would entail disrupting health insurance for millions of Americans. Republicans with some grip on reality realize that the best they can hope for is chipping away at Obamacare gradually. Locked in a close Senate race with Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell himself has tacitly acknowledged that Kynect, the Kentucky health insurance exchange established under Obamacare, is a success. In light of these realities, McConnell’s ambitions to completely repeal Obamacare have withered accordingly. As McConnell put it to Cavuto:

“Well, I would like to put the Senate Democrats in the position of voting on the most unpopular parts of this law and see if we can put it on the President’s desk and make him take real ownership of this highly destructive Obamacare, which has done so much damage to the country, the lost jobs, the higher premiums, the higher co-payments, the higher deductibles. Yes, we will be voting on that sort of thing. But he is the President of the United States until January of 2017, and people need to understand that that constrains our ability to do for this law what we’d like to do, which is to get rid of it.”

Without entirely abandoning the goal of total repeal, McConnell moved the goal post to 2017, at which point millions more Americans will be covered under Obamacare. The law’s benefits, already evident in many ways, will be even clearer by that time. Besides which, 2016 is expected to be a good year for Democrats; it is highly unlikely that the GOP will hold both houses of Congress, much less the presidency. McConnell’s statement is tantamount to admitting defeat when it comes to full repeal. Predictably, McConnell did not receive a standing ovation from his party. The Senate Conservatives Fund, an influential Super PAC founded by Tea Party Republican Jim DeMint, captured the sentiment of many conservatives, calling McConnell’s words a “surrender,” heaping scorn on the Minority Leader for his heresy:

“This is why so few people actually believe Mitch McConnell anymore. He makes conservative promises and then fails to follow through. He said he would rip Obamacare out “root and branch,” but has now flip-flopped days before the election and waved the white flag. If Mitch McConnell can’t figure out a legislative strategy to repeal Obamacare with a Senate majority, then maybe it’s time for him to step aside and let someone else with more parliamentary skills do the job. Republican voters expect Republicans in Washington to fully repeal Obamacare. This law is the biggest threat to our nation’s fiscal health and it’s time to repeal it and start over.”

Faced with such withering criticism, McConnell backtracked. Brian McGuire, his spokesman, stated: “Leader McConnell is and has always been committed to the full repeal of Obamacare.”

But the cat is already out of the bag. Make no mistake: the Affordable Care Act is in serious danger if the GOP seizes the Senate majority. But liberals can take some comfort in the fact that its basic components will remain intact. Unconvincing retractions notwithstanding, you can add Mitch McConnell to the growing list of Republicans who have accepted the inevitable.

20 Replies to “Mitch McConnell Admits That Obamacare is Here to Stay Even if GOP Captures Senate”

  1. Excuse my French, but McConnell is a total d**khead! He knew damn well that the AHA was here to stay way back when, but kept lying to the RWNJ’s because, like Eric Cantor, it was all about obtaining more power; it was all about HIM, never “we the people.”
    How in God’s name do you tell 20 million people, aka voters, that you are taking away their health insurance, and not provide your own plan?
    As far as I am concerned, this race is over! Alison is headed to D.C.! McConnell is an old fool! An old, lying, conniving, manipulative, double dealing, hypocritical, old fool! And those are his good qualities!

  2. He has been a obstructionist ever since President Obama got into office… saying that, he has held the tea party crazies back unlike John Boehner! If only he and Reid hadn’t fell out of love maybe things could of been better!

  3. Maximum, no one has done this yet but I keep seeing your posts and I need to let you know: it is the ACA, not AHA. Please don’t take offense, I’m just trying to help you out. The full acronym is the PPACA. Have a great day.

  4. “this highly destructive Obamacare, which has done so much damage to the country, the lost jobs, the higher premiums, the higher co-payments, the higher deductibles.”

    Please, please, please! ALL media needs to ALWAYS correct this falsehood REPEATEDLY. The GOP has continued to win the “messaging” about the “damage” caused by the ACA simply because they say it over and over again. Without ANY correction or challenge by the media or Democrats, it’s a small wonder people “dislike Obamacare.”

    P.S.- What the hell does McConnell mean by saying the president needs to take ownership of the ACA? IT’S CALLED OBAMACARE!

  5. I’m still waiting for the GOP to spell out how getting more Americans hooked into the health care industry is a threat to our economy? The biggest threat to our economy is, of course, the GOP, who thinks that $8.hour is a great wage, and that unions are evil, and that shipping jobs overseas is good policy. They also fully support tax breaks for oil companies making billions, while lying about the solar industry, which we need more of, and will get, thanks to the President. They pay women like Caribou Barbie to yak on about how well the GOP treats women, ignoring any facts or statistics (you know, like the one way to lower abortion is to make contraception more available?) And that putting women in jail for having a miscarriage is not really helping them?
    The GOP is nearly finished, thank God, or Allah, or whomever. And McConnell will lead the sorry bunch out of DC in January. Good riddance. Then maybe we can stop bombing other countries, and start rebuilding this one.

  6. We want answers Mr. Turtle

    “40kg Of Cocaine Found On Mitch McConnell’s Father-In-Law’s Boat”

    James Chao, father of Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine, has a lot of questions to answer after 40 kilograms of cocaine (about $6.7 million worth) was found on the Ping May, a ship owned by the Foremost Group, a company James Chao founded and led to a tidy fortune. But was that fortune built on honest movement of legitimate bulk trade goods, or has Mr. Chao been trading in less than legal goods?
    The cocaine, found in 40 separate packages, was discovered during a routine inspection hidden among a load of coal bound for Europe from the port of Santa Marta, Columbia onboard the Ping May, one of 15 ships Foremost currently operates, with another 8 under construction. The final destination for the ship was to be the Netherlands, likely one of the port cities surrounding Amsterdam.

  7. When the ACA was written all the largest insurance providers had their hand in it. Humanna corporate offices are in Louisville. They’ve reconfigured their plans to be in compliance with the ACA. David Jones, Humanna CEO, and big republican supporter hasn’t had a thing to say. Maybe he knows McConnell, and the rest of the haters, are just trying to blow smoke up everyone’s asses. Any vote to repeal after the election, is for the stupid people in their base.

  8. Mitch says what he has to say ! With 10s of thousands signed up to Obama care in his state he would be a fool to say he’s going to repeal it !

  9. why don’t we see coverage by the MSM of the cocaine bust aboard the Ping Mei! It’s because main stream media is owned by corporate liars who only want to keep American voters in the dark. Vote the bastard out!

  10. Why do you say that conservatives think $8 an hour is a good wage? I don’t. You liberals are full of scary sound bites, but they have no basis in truth. Furthermore, I don’t think shipping jobs overseas (another catch phrase used by liberals) is a good policy. (Although from an economic point of view it is not different from trade agreements supported by Clinton or from visas for foreign workers.) And Caribou Barbie? Really? How about treating people with a little respect? Just because you disagree with somebody is no cause to make these rude and ridiculous statements.

  11. Then why are conservatives fighting to keep the min wage at under $8.00? Answer?

    We treat people with respect who earn that respect. Palin is little more then a comic book character.

    NAFTA was a republican plan. Conceived and negotiated by republicans. Clinton signed it

  12. Keep the positive reforms and the exchanges if you will, but the individual mandate needs to go and is the primary reason I have not supported many democratic candidates this election. There are so many things wrong with the insurance plans and the health care services they pretend to cover that to force people into them is unjust. The way MAGI is figured leaves many unable to afford insurance even though it is assumed they can. Most want access to health services and would buy into a truly affordable quality product, but that is not yet available and is for every individual to decide what works for them. Democrats have not tried to correct a single problem with the law and they have lost my support. Eliminating the mandate is issue #1 for me. My penalty (if it applied to 2013) would have been over $1900×2, yet my joint taxable income was under $33k. I don’t intend to pay that any more than I want the products offered by the industry.

  13. No matter what it’s called, the working man still pays for the lazy butts allowed to be on the dole. No drug tests, no restrictions as to how they spend their government $$ (my neighbor used to buy food for friends in exchange for $$ to buy drugs)as there is no way to control or regulate this. Bottom line: the working man will always be working until the cows come home to keep the lazy folks and the lifetime employed politicians doing just fine.

  14. Vote Republican Tuesday! Now is not the time to waste your vote on 3rd party candidates. MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT!

  15. And this is exactly why we’re going to dump him just as soon as we take the government back from the even crazier Leftists running America into the ground…
    Don Cuillo

  16. Partial truth.
    Its not that Mconnel wont try – its that they dont have enough votes to over ride a presidential veto.

    I hate articles like this that skew things by using select facts and phrases.

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