Sponsored Content

Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

« Monday Morning News Dump | Main | NBA Player Jason Collins Announces He's Gay »
April 29, 2013

The Deceptive Appeal Of "3D Chess" And "Improving" ObamaCare

Last week Gabe and I had a back and forth about the House GOP leadership's effort to transfer ObamaCare funds from a "slush fund" to a program that provides subsidies to people in an ObamaCare high risk pool because they can't purchase insurance because of preexisting conditions.

Gabe argued the House GOP wasn't trying to fix an ObamaCare problem but rather by moving money from the preventative care fund (the slush fund) the Democrats would not be able to use that money to lessen the "train wreck" of implementing ObamaCare.

This was in response to my contention that what the House GOP leadership, led by Eric Cantor, was doing amounted to trying to fix and ObamaCare problem that was popular (helping people with preexisting conditions) instead of letting ObamaCare crash as hard as possible.

Here's why I reject the notion that the House leadership is playing some sort of deep game to destroy ObamaCare game...if they were serious about hamstringing the Obama administration's ability to use that "slush fund", thus making a smooth implementation of the system even harder than it will be, they could have either zeroed out that fund or moved the money to the high risk pool when they passed the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government for the year.

The CR was a must pass piece of legislation. If it hadn't passed we'd have seen a government shutdown. This would have been a risk for the GOP but it was also something Democrats wanted to avoid. In other words, it was a point of leverage. But the GOP took a pass on fighting ObamaCare in the CR because they wanted move on from the fiscal cliff battle and live to fight another day.

The House Republican leaders turned aside requests from groups of conservative members to include language in the bill that would have withheld funding for implementation of all of Obamacare, or, alternatively, that would have withheld funding for the Obamacare regulation that requires health-plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Rules Committee rejected a request by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R.-Okla.) to allow the full House to simply vote on an amendment to the CR sponsored by Bridenstine, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R.-Kans.) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R.-Fla.) that would have stripped funding from implementation of Obamacare.

Now, I don't think they were wrong in doing that because they wouldn't have won but that's irrelevant. The GOP has no real leverage now in passing a bill to drain the slush fund. Sure they could have tried to make a few Democrats in purple districts take a tough vote but in the end the policy would never change since the Senate and White House would never let their slush fund be raided.

What's just as likely to have happened is if the Senate even took it up, they would have come up with a different funding mechanism for the high risk pools. A House Democrat wanted to hike cigarette taxes to pay for it. Suppose the Senate took that funding plan and sent it back to the House. Then what? The House is now on the defensive...do they care about people with preexisting conditions or not?

If anything had been done, odds are in the end we'd have wound up with the worst of all worlds (if anything were to actually have passed)...more money for ObamaCare and the slush fund would be intact.

But even if nothing had passed or this was just a "message bill", the GOP would be on record saying this is something that must be addressed at the federal level and that ObamaCare can be tweaked rather than ripped out root and branch.

What the House leadership wanted to do had nothing to do with making ObamaCare harder to implement because that ship sailed back in March. Eric Cantor has been pushing something he calls "making life work". How exactly the federal government is supposed to help people do that seems a question better left to liberals but it's the centerpiece of Cantor's ideas.

As House Whip Kevin McCarthy put it.

“I hear about the debt and the deficit. I hear about the fights,” McCarthy said in an interview in his Capitol office Tuesday. “And if I’m sitting at home, or if I’m trying to make within my household different things work or go forward, I think, ‘How does it relate to me?’ ”

It seems the challenge for conservatives, not necessarily Republicans, is to explain just that thing to voters. Instead the GOP leadership, for very practical reasons, is moving to "making life work" by "fixing" the mess Democrats made.

And how bad was the preexisting care pool that Cantor wanted to "fix"?

Obamacare’s federal high-risk pools were projected to cover 375,000 people; however, only 110,000 enrolled before the funding ran out. The cost of enrolling individuals into the federal high-risk pool was 2.5 times higher than anticipated.

Fewer people than they expected signed up but they burned through $5 billion faster than planned anyway. Yes, let's "fix" that please!".

The danger in that is once you accept the legitimacy of an "entitlement" you are stuck with it forever. Remember that during the Medicare debate Ronald Reagan called it "socialism" but as President a mere 15 years after it's enactment, he never moved against it because it was politically impossible.

Be very wary of Republicans who tell you they want to hurt ObamaCare by fixing parts of it. Especially when they took a pass on hurting it when they really had the chance.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 10:19 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Eromero: "175 It is true that one thing coming out of the Uk ..."

NaCly Dog (u82oZ): "Ex-ex You can rent a propane tank for less tha ..."

Ex-ex: "I was looking at something like a 6K dual fuel. I ..."

Walter Freeman: "[I]@178: "I think Joe's brain is in storage on ali ..."

templetontherat: "*Screams into a void* Now that's over, I am proud ..."

Eromero: "184 Well, well, well.Robert Hanssen dies in prison ..."

Ciampino - felines, cats, kitties: "[b]Ciampino's Rescue kitties[/b] https://is.gd ..."

NaCly Dog (u82oZ): "Ex-ex A small gasoline generator can do that. H ..."

NaCly Dog (u82oZ): "Ex-ex They are nice, especially to keep my wife ..."

Paul: "In the last 12 months Disney has earned a profit o ..."

Ex-ex: "I haven't worked on any whole house generator syst ..."

runner: " Well, well, well.Robert Hanssen dies in prison. ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64