The Supreme Court began its decision extravaganza last week by putting another nail in the coffin of the GOP's anti-"Obamacare" campaign. Secretly Republicans were relieved that they were not going to be forced to explain to 6.5 million red state voters why their healthcare was AWOL. More on that here.
Publicly, it was more of the same old tired talking points.
|House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): "Obamacare is fundamentally broken, increasing healthcare costs for millions of Americans. Today's ruling doesn't change that fact. Republicans will continue to listen to American families and work to protect them from the consequences of Obamacare. And we will continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of seniors, small business owners, and middle-class families."
what eye thynk:
- "Fundamentally broken"-- Proof please. Today more Americans have health coverage than at any other time in our history, costs in many states is going down and the latest sign-up period saw more insurance companies join the program. Where is the broken part?
- "We will continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it." -- One would think that, after five years, there would be some evidence of this great GOP replacement plan, but nope. If continuing means nothing more than talking about doing it, maybe, sometime in the future, then they've aced it.
- "Patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of seniors, small business owners, and middle-class families." -- Gee, that sounds swell, but, see above.
|Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas): The Supreme Court's decision was a prime example of "judicial activisim." Mr. Cruz suggested, rather strongly, that any Republican presidential candidate who was not committed to a full repeal of the ACA should drop out of the race immediately.
- "Judicial activisim" -- The GOP's go-to words when the Court's decision is not to their liking.
- Committed to a full repeal -- This is so old it's growing mold.
|Senator Lindsey Graham (R-So.Carolina): "It means that the most significant domestic issue in 2016, at every House race, in every Senate race, and for president will be centered around whether or not the country wants to keep Obamacare."
- "Whether or not the country wants to keep Obamacare" -- Mr. Graham seems stuck in 2012 when the ACA was "the" issue; but as more and more stories reach the public about Republican voters realizing the benefits of their ACA healthcare plan, this argument is going to be less and less viable for conservative candidates. This past week saw multiple stories of people in Republican states with serious health problems who could not afford treatment without their "Obamacare" policies and who were relieved by the Court's decision. Add them to the mix and it demonstrates how weakened this position has become.
|Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida): "Despite the court's decision, Obamacare is still a bad law that is having a negative impact on our country and on millions of Americans. I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan."
- "Bad law...negative impact...committed to repealing..." -- Someone please change the record.
|Mike Huckabee (R): The Court's decision was "judicial tyranny" and the Affordable Care Act is "un-American." He voiced the opinion that Chief Justice John Roberts had betrayed the country's conservatives.
- "Judicial tyranny" -- Nice twist on judicial activism, but still gets a failing grade for originality.
- ACA is "un-American" -- Because the last thing Americans should do is care for fellow Americans?
- John Roberts betrayed him and his fellow right-wingers -- Note to Mikey: The court exists to interpret the Constitution, to give a final opinion on constitutional questions. The Justices are not employees of the GOP; they do not serve to protect conservative opinions. Betrayal is not possible.
|Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky): "This decision turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head. Obamacare raises taxes, harms patients and doctors, and is the wrong fix for America's health care system. As President I would make it my mission to repeal it, and propose real solutions for our healthcare system. As a physician I know Americans need of a healthcare system that reconnects patients, families, and doctors."
- "Common sense" -- When this case was originally accepted by the Supreme Court, there were any number of Republican lawmakers who admitted that "common sense" said the subsidies were intended for all Americans, no matter in which state they resided.
- "Raises taxes" -- The only taxes that are raised are on those people who refuse to sign up for healthcare. The pay a penalty--by choice.
- "Harms patients and doctors" -- Exactly how are patients harmed by having access to healthcare? And doctors and hospitals in states like Florida are begging for the ACA Medicaid expansion to be instated. It puts money in hospital coffers by guaranteeing payment for services they otherwise provide free. I'm having trouble seeing where harm comes into the equation.
- "As a physician" -- When Mr. Rand couldn't get licensed by the American Board of Ophthalmology, (which is recognized by the American Medical Association), he created his own National Ophthalmology Board, (which is not recognized by the AMA) made himself president, his wife vice-president, put his in-laws on the board and certified himself. Seems legit to me.
The warm-up to 2016 sounds an awful lot like 2012. The world has moved on and left the GOP behind; and they seem inordinately proud of that fact. Let us hope "pride cometh before (their) fall."