A leaked audio tape of a behind closed doors conversation at the Republican retreat about repealing Obamacare revealed a GOP that is terrified and running scared over the mess that they have gotten themselves into.
Here are some quotes that lawmakers verified to The Washington Post as authentic from the leaked tape related to repealing and replacing the ACA:
“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal, said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) warned his colleagues that the estimated budget savings from passing the Obamacare repeal bill — which Republicans say could approach a half-trillion dollars — are needed to fund the costs of setting up a replacement. “This is going to be what we’ll need to be able to move to that transition,” he said.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) worried that one idea floated by Republicans — a refundable tax credit — would not work for middle-class families that cannot afford to prepay their premiums and wait for a tax refund.
And Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.), a freshman congressman from the Hudson Valley, warned strongly against using the repeal of the ACA to also defund Planned Parenthood. “We are just walking into a gigantic political trap if we go down this path of sticking Planned Parenthood in the health insurance bill,” he said. “If you want to do it somewhere else, I have no problem, but I think we are creating a political minefield for ourselves — House and Senate.”
These guys have no idea what they are doing, and they are terrified of the political consequences for what they are about to unleash. There is no way that Republicans will be able to replace Obamacare with something that is better, cheaper, and will cover more people.
They know this, which is why they have been looking for a way out of this mess since the election ended.
Repealing Obamacare was never really supposed to happen. Republicans thought that they could keep running on repealing the ACA for years. It was campaign gimmick. No ever expected them to actually have to come up with a plan to replace the law.
Democrats have all of the advantages in this situation. The last thing that they should do is bail the Republicans out in any way, shape, or form. The message to the American people is that if you are one of the 30 million who stands to lose your healthcare after repeal, the time to protest is now. Protest relentlessly. Republicans are skittish and vulnerable, and public pressure will make them crack.
Congressional Republicans put this noose around their own necks by promising to repeal Obamacare. Democrats should do nothing that would give them a reprieve.
From this point forward, the American people must apply relentless pressure to save their health care.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association