Whenever Republicans wonder why conservatives say, “I am done with this party,” they can look back to the time when push comes to shove, and the GOP backs down.
Since Barack Obama attached his name to the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have voted eleventy-billion times to repeal it. In 2011 when they couldn’t do it because they only controlled the House, they said, “When we win the White House in 2012, we will repeal it.” After Romney had lost, they said, “When we win the Senate and the White House in 2016, we will repeal Obamacare.”
Here we are in 2017. The GOP controls the House. The GOP controls the Senate. There is a Republican (sort of) in the White House and guess what? Some Republicans are already waving the white flag. The French never surrendered this quickly:
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday, Republican Sens. Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito, Cory Gardner, and Lisa Murkowski laid out concerns regarding the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, in what could be the beginning of serious trouble for the GOP’s plan to overhaul the healthcare law.
The senators wrote they were concerned that the changes to funding in the leaked House legislation would leave states stretched to keep such people covered. All four senators come from a state that has expanded Medicaid.
“While we support efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and make structural reforms to the Medicaid program, we are concerned that the February 10th draft proposal from the House of Representatives does not provide stability and certainty for individuals and families in Medicaid expansion programs or the necessary flexibility for states,” the letter to McConnell said.
Oh. They are “concerned.” That’s funny. Were Senators Gardner, Portman, Capito and Murkowski “concerned” when they voted for a full repeal of Obamacare in December of 2015?
What was contained in that bill?
It repeals the expansion of Medicaid adopted by 30 states as well as many of the law’s tax increases, which the House bill left in place.
Cory Gardner opposed Medicaid expansion under Obamacare in Colorado, so what’s his concern? Medicaid expansion was already in place when Gardner was elected in 2014.
So what’s changed? Easy. There is now some risk. President Obama was never going to sign a repeal bill because there was no danger. Now there is. And we’re already seeing how quickly Republicans are tucking their tail and running off.