Thursday, December 29, 2011

Republicans Look Back (Really), Health Care Law Replacement

GOP Fallout From 2011

"When the House GOP’s enormous freshman class arrived on Capitol Hill in January, it wasn’t uncommon to hear them sound off on the mistakes their predecessors made in 1995.  Despite having shut down the government -- twice! -- House Republicans under Newt Gingrich had caved too easily, didn’t push hard enough, didn’t embody the true spirit of conservatism.  But the new House leadership wasn’t so sanguine.  Many had lived through the Gingrich revolution and its aftermath.  Others had been around long enough to hear tales of it."

"And so they mapped out a strategy specifically designed to avoid what they believe were the party’s ’90s-era mistakes.  In other words, the two factions -- the newly energized backbenchers and the veteran leadership -- were pulling each other in opposite directions.  The tug of war left the House GOP’s strategic center of gravity stuck in an unstable position."

It was obvious right from the start that Mr. Boehner was having problems with the freshmen.  And the few times that he seemed to have gained some control were short lived.  Never the less, it does go back to the essential Republican philosophy: When it comes to government services, do little, so government does little.  However, they do need to keep up appearances -- as if they were accomplishing "something."  Thus, Republicans reduce taxes for their wealthy friends.  Once upon a time, they were able to fool most people into thinking the "people" also were sharing in those tax cuts; now, that's a lot harder.  Clearly, the basic strategy of not negotiating and stonewalling is doing as little as possible.

Repeal and Replace

"More than a year after Republicans first pledged to 'repeal and replace' President Obama’s new health-care law, the GOP is still struggling to answer a basic question.  Replace it . . . with what?"  The repeal-and-replace argument has been a central line of attack in the GOP’s anti-Obama assault, both on the presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill."

"Obama’s health-care law stretches over hundreds of pages, making a sweeping attempt to solve two long-standing problems.  One was the millions of uninsured people.  The other was the fast-rising cost of medical care.  To address the first, the law simply mandated that every American buy health insurance.  If not, people could face a fine of $695 or more.  To address the second, the bill drives hospitals -- especially those treating Medicare patients -- toward more efficient treatments."

The Republican Reality-Free Zone

[Couldn't help it.  I usually like to limit this feature to a single item.  Today, there was just too much to leave out.]


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