Friday, April 26, 2013

Eye Recommend --- House Majority Leader's Quest to Soften G.O.P.'s Image Hits a Wall Within

Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in February, Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), described a bill he planned to introduce to the House: The Helping Sick Americans Now Act.  At the time, his fellow conservatives greeted his ideas with enthusiasm. Now it is April and things aren't going as well. 
"Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, has been trying for months to remake the image of the Republican Party, from one of uncompromising conservatism to something kinder and gentler.

It isn't working so well...

...The debacle on Wednesday was the worst moment yet.  The Helping Sick Americans Now Act sounded like solid middle ground--a measure to actually expand the part of President Obama's health care law that created a federal 'high-risk pool' in which people with pre-existing conditions could band together to buy subsidized insurance coverage.  The provision was to be paid for by siphoning money from another part of Mr. Obama's health care law, the Prevention and Public Health Fund."
To be fair here, it should be noted that President Obama was not in favor of Mr. Cantor's bill and encouraged Democrats to oppose it. The President does not want his planned ACA funding distributions tinkered with. And, also to be fair, the ACA already has a provision that prohibits health care providers from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition. 
Despite a lack of Democratic support, the Republican majority in the House could have passed this bill on their own.
"But these days, those who linger in the middle of the road end up flattened...The Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee, warned that Republicans who voted in favor of the act would have their scorecards marked down for supporting part of the health care law."
When it became clear that Mr. Cantor did not have enough votes to pass his bill, the vote was called off.  Afterward, Mr. Cantor said:
"We in the House remain committed to putting our conservative principles first to help people first."
Unless some corporate sponsored lobbyist threatens them with a bad report card.

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