**Posted by Phineas
Commenting on my earlier post about the growing Democrat internal strife as Obamacare crashes down around them, ST reader Medbob offered this observation about a possible bipartisan effort to rewrite Obamacare to really (1) allow people to keep the insurance they like:
I don’t know why the Republicans should be expected to do anything other than fold their arms.
We offered to shut it down, we offered to amend it. Both were broken over the knee and thrown back in our face.
While I was thinking only of the enjoyment of watching the Democrats turn on each other like rats trapped in a too-small cage, Medbob asks a good question. Democrats have been desperate to pass some sort of universal health care bill since FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights” speech. When they finally did it, they passed it through constitutionally questionable legislative chicanery, forcing it down the throat of an unwilling nation. It was passed solely with Democratic votes, and every attempt to reform it, such as Senator Enzi’s (R-WY) bill in 2010 to allow people to keep their insurance, was defeated by the Democrats in the Senate on a strict party-line vote. The Democrats from the President on down repeatedly deceived the American people with the infamous “if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance” lie (2), which rapidly becoming the modern-day peer of “I am not a crook.”
Why should we do anything to help them out of the hole they dug themselves into?
Coincidentally, I was reading the Ace of Spades blog and came upon a post by Drew M. arguing that supporting some form of the Upton/Johnson/Landrieu bills is smart politics:
The bottom line is this is a political move masquerading as policy. The GOP has to be seen doing something. That’s just reality. Millions of people who played by the rules are losing their insurance and quite possibly their doctors as well. It’s simply not an option for a political party to say, “Wow, that sucks for you. Should have voted for us, huh?”. Campaigns are about generating future support, not punishing voters for past lack of support.
The upside is that the GOP is doing this in a way that panders completely to the people who just, “want something done” but is also a poison pill to the Democrats. Obama doesn’t want to “fix” what isn’t a bug in the system but from his point of view, a necessary feature.
The risk in all of this is that the Democrats say “yes”. I have my doubts that the Senate will take up the Landrieu bill let alone pass Upton’s. And the odds of Obama signing any of them are zero (he never has to face voters and he cares more about his plan than some random Democrats).
Emphasis added. I’ll point out that Drew is no squish on this; if he had his druthers, he’d employ the “let it burn” strategy.
But being seen to do something people need, even if it fails, is smart electoral politics, particularly if the Republicans settle on a repeal-and-replace bill as an alternative to the ACA. There’s a risk, of course, that Republicans could then be exposed to sharing the blame with the Democrats, but, like Drew, I think it’s less than the ire we’d face for folding our arms and doing nothing when people are crying out for relief. It’s a good chance to remind people that we’re the adults in the room, while the hard-left leadership of the Democrats digs in against any measure (3), no matter how much the people suffer.
Consequently, I think the best plan is for Republicans to support some sort of relief from the effects of the individual mandate and exploit the opportunity we have in advance of the 2014 elections.
Reasonable people can, of course, disagree.
(1) Unlike the repeated lies that were fed to Americans over and over again.
(2) Sure, some were just stupid and swallowed the Party line without thinking, meaning they didn’t deceive people deliberately. But the effect and the harm were the same.
(3) It’s beginning to remind me of one of those “Downfall” parody videos. How soon before Pelosi starts issuing orders to Steiner?
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)