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Republicans might reform health-care reform, but they won't repeal it

mcconnellftn.JPG

When people think about the GOP's threats to repeal the health-care bill, they need to think about the actual votes that Republicans would need, and when they would take place. In the short term, they'd need not just a majority in the House and Senate, and not just a supermajority in the House and Senate, but a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate because they'd need to override the president's veto. In the Senate, that's not even a plausible electoral outcome. And as a reader reminds me, people should also remember that "now that the reform bill is the law of the land, [repeal] would increase the budget deficit relative to current law, at least in the eyes of the CBO." So if they weren't going to find offsets, they'd also need to overrule pay-go.

I'd take the talk of constitutional challenges and the talk of repeal as the necessary end point for the GOP in this debate. You can't spend a year calling something a dire threat to American freedom and then shrug your shoulders once it's passed. You at least need to assure your allies that you believed what you were saying all along. But as the days and months and years go on, it's going to be very difficult to keep up that intensity. Five months from now Republicans will be united against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and a year or two after that, who knows what the issue of the day will be.

Once they actually retake the presidency, their new leader will have an agenda they're going to want to pass and problems that need to be solved, they're not going to want to spend their time picking through pieces of Obama's agenda. Don't believe me? Check out the Democrats who are about to ratify most of George W. Bush's tax cuts, even though they could let the cuts die just by refusing to act to save them, or notice that Democrats just passed a bill that strengthens the Medicare prescription drug benefit, even though many of them swore to repeal it as soon as it was passed.

And that's what I'd expect to see with health-care reform. The bill won't get repealed, but when Republicans take power, it will get nudged: Maybe they'll add low-deductible plans, or tort reform, or purchasing across state lines. Maybe they'll try to change how it's funded (though they'll have to find offsetting money somewhere else). Maybe they'll rest their argument on cost control and add more payment reforms and delivery-system changes, which would actually be a good thing. But now that health-care reform has been signed, the likely future is health-care reform reform, not repeal.

Photo credit: Photo by Chris Usher/CBS.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 23, 2010; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: Sen. Judd Gregg explains the Republican strategy on reconciliation

Comments

Why would they have to find offsetting money somewhere else? When have they EVER worried about the money they spend, when their party is in power?

Posted by: tettleton3434 | March 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what it will be, but I predict it will involve vouchers. They seem to like those.

Posted by: rpy1 | March 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

In fairness, some Republicans worry about spending cuts and "where the money is going to come from" when they are in power. Three of them, I think.

No, they won't try and repeal it. They may try to reform it, in ways they can say are meaningful, but they aren't going to repeal it.

Ah, politics.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Republicans seem to like the selling across state line idea although it sucks

Posted by: PorkBelly | March 23, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure there is a big political difference between campaigning to repeal the law and campaigning against the idea of it generally. However, the GOP could make a case not just in 2010 but also in 2012 for repeal, and if they win the presidency in two years they would not have to worry about the veto issue. With respect to the budget deficit, they seemed to have no problem arguing that the bill increases the deficit, and so I'm not sure they would be hindered by Democratic claims that repeal would be deficit-aggravating. I'm sure you will hear much the same language about double-counting and phantom Medicare savings.

Posted by: gocowboys | March 23, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be poetic justice for the repubs to have to propose painful cuts for once in an effort to bring down costs.

For the last 8 years they have been eating dessert first, passing popular tax cuts and medicare part d without paying for them.

Its time for the cost cutters to put their cuts where their rhetoric is.

Posted by: srw3 | March 23, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't thought about it much anymore, but this was always an out in a lot of the advocacy campaigns that I've been a part of. When you get to a point where you just can't get anywhere by protesting, negotiating, and meeting, you just file a lawsuit and call it a day. At the worst, you spend a few extra dollars and get a good media hit or two. At the best, who knows? You have a shot at winning.

Posted by: brennangriffin | March 23, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@GCB: Either you believe the CBO or you don't. Lets go to the videotape of republicans saying that CBO estimates are the final word on bills. I know Grassley said this and probably others did as well. You can't logically have it both ways (unless you are a hypocritical republican, I guess).

Posted by: srw3 | March 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

As long as big new lawsw are in vogue - why don't we pass a Car Care Bill? Who hasn't been stuck out on the road at some point in time because of a car breakdown? We could make Care Care Mandatory - threrby controlling costs for this new insurance coverage - and spreading the risk. If you don't have a car - get one - you won't have to worry about fixing it - ever! If you don't get one - you pay a fine!!! BRILLIANT!!

Posted by: jimkearney19761 | March 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Any chance the GOP would try to ditch the mandate? Or would CBO projections, etc., doom that?

Posted by: Isa8686 | March 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Playing devil's advocate, I'd note that reconciliation requires only 51 votes in the Senate and a simple majority in the House. One viable strategy would involve repealing the subsidies (and by doing so reduce their burden on the budget) as part of an omnibus reconciliation bill -- the Federal budget -- that the President would need to sign to appease his own constituency. With the subsidies then gone, the burden of the mandate (etc.) then becomes something the President might join in opposing.

I'm more concerned about the Swiss Cheese effect: as portions of the act are invalidated (by legislation, the Courts, or Amendment), other portions become burdensome and indeed might not be repealed in a timely manner. Also, some of the language in the act (the menu labeling provision, for example) was apparently copied from previous language which has already been rejected by the Court.

Posted by: rmgregory | March 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

from your lips . . . on the cuts from Republicans. That to me is the only way they gain traction in this debate is to show the Dems as callously spending the hard earned taxpayers money.


porkbelly,

that's some fantastic analysis. I'm sure you've got some nice crayola graphs to show us that it "sucks", right?

Ezra,

i'm thinking you meant HIGH deductible plans.


I also wonder if there's a way to transition this to Wyden-Bennett after the exchanges are off the ground, say maybe 2019 when we're forced to control costs due to skyrocketing premium and subsidies. hmmm.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

just as an FYI too they can't ditch things that were in what was signed today (just the fixes) so the mandate stays, the base subsides stay (the improvements could go but not likely).

They can be challenged in court but they can't be stricken by the parlimentarian. He's only acting on the reconciliation bill, no?

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@srw3: I agree with you, but that didn't stop Republicans from arguing that citing CBO on the deficit is misleading because of double-counting. I don't agree with them, although there is a point to be made about how the taxes raised and savings made in the bill could otherwise pay down the debt without covering increased spending. But again, that would be the Republican argument. It isn't to deny the CBO - it is to say that revenue enhancers could be used towards something else entirely, or not at all.

Posted by: gocowboys | March 23, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the poster above that said that the Republicans like the 'insurance across state lines idea'. Here's why that makes no sense (if the Repubs. would only think about it):

I have Aetna for my primary insurer and I live in Maryland. I know alot of people with Aetna who live elsewhere. I have secondary dental insurance with Met Life. I know alot of people with Met Life who live elsewhere.

Have Repubs. got the picture yet?

The insurance industry already figured out it can profit from selling across state lines, and it does!

So, what the hell are they asking for that's different?

Posted by: bert8 | March 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

bert8,


Its not that we want Aetna to be able to be purchased everywhere because it already is.

Its that maybe those of us in the Northeast want Kaiser or at least an option of Kaiser for example. 20 options instead of 5.

sheesh. oh and btw this is what the exchanges do.

I would expect though that Republicans want all to benefit from this ability but also don't want to be mandated what level of benefit is required. I'd expect they'd want the personal choice for example to opt out of maternity coverage if they're an auto body shop with 5 single male employees in their 50's.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is still very popular and a very persausive politicians , the Republican Party is still very unpopular and the Republicans have no leaders that appeals to independents and both their conservative base and moderates. Thus, there is little chance that the Republicans will take the White House in 2012.In addition, it is very unlikely that the Republicans will have a filibuster majority in the Senate this decade. So the idea that they will be in a position to repeal this law is very remote. Add to that, the benefits many people will enjoy by 2016 and repeal will create a firestorm of opposition.

Posted by: cstern1 | March 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

They won't have to find offsets. If the previous Republican-majority congresses are any indication, when they ratify the rules for that congress they'll just remove the pay-go rules. Thats what they did last time.

Democrats follow PayGo rules, Republicans follow "instigate a fiscal crisis to undermine government" rules.

Posted by: zosima | March 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat and I abhor the method Pelosi and her comrades used to gain 219 votes. I further abhor Stupak for kneeling down to her. Even though the bill has passed, an executive order can be rescinded any time. Maybe not by the "Big O" but by the next liberal who might be in office. Stupak, you were sucked in and taken. If and when the Republicans take over, no they may not be able to repeal it as long as the "O" is in. But if a Republican wins the presidency along with the House and Senate, they don't need a super majority. The Senate can do away with some of the health care plan, send it to the house, tweak it a little, pass it by a simple majority, send it back to the Senate and pass it by reconciliation. Remember Pelosi and Reed, that is what you did. Also remember, if the Republicans win the House and Senate in either 2010 or 2012, they control the purse strings and can refuse to fund parts of the bill they do not think is right for Americans and there is nothing the "Big O" can do about it. Payback hurts!

Posted by: jjeleven | March 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat and I abhor the method Pelosi and her comrades used to gain 219 votes. I further abhor Stupak for kneeling down to her. Even though the bill has passed, an executive order can be rescinded any time. Maybe not by the "Big O" but by the next liberal who might be in office. Stupak, you were sucked in and taken. If and when the Republicans take over, no they may not be able to repeal it as long as the "O" is in. But if a Republican wins the presidency along with the House and Senate, they don't need a super majority. The Senate can do away with some of the health care plan, send it to the house, tweak it a little, pass it by a simple majority, send it back to the Senate and pass it by reconciliation. Remember Pelosi and Reed, that is what you did. Also remember, if the Republicans win the House and Senate in either 2010 or 2012, they control the purse strings and can refuse to fund parts of the bill they do not think is right for Americans and there is nothing the "Big O" can do about it. Payback hurts!

Posted by: jjeleven | March 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

haha. PAYGO.

that's funny!


I'm thinking we need another government shutdown to force the government to balance the budget over a set time frame.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought the purchasing across state lines made it into the health care bill?

Posted by: toombzie | March 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a Democrat and I abhor the method Pelosi and her comrades used to gain 219 votes"

Yeah, darn those Dems for using long-standing House and Senate rules and practices to accomplish what they promised to do during the 2008 campaign.

When I finally get my insurance that I can't get now, I'm going to send an email to Pelosi and complain about all the hurt feelings on the other side of the aisle. Poor, poor republicans. I wish people would stop victimizing them. Alas!

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

We do need tort reform for the sake of doctors and hospitals, but in the states where such measures have been enacted, like Texas, it's had little effect. That's because tort reform without regulation of the insurance industry renders such efforts largely ineffectual. It may discourage some litigious individuals from trying to game the system, but as long as insurance companies are allowed to continue to impose galling malpractice fees on doctors and hospitals, it won't change procedures in any meaningful way. The GOP opposes any regulations of any industry, so their real impetus in proposing tort reform is to punish trial lawyers, who they believe are a subsidiary of the Democratic party. If they were serious about enacting real tort reform, they would also demand that insurance companies be held accountable.

Posted by: Koko3 | March 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree with koko that insurers are imposing "galling" malpractice fees.

A piece about tort reform myths....

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/would-tort-reform-lower-health-care-costs/?pagemode=print

Excerpt:

Q. But critics of the current system say that 10 to 15 percent of medical costs are due to medical malpractice.

A. That’s wildly exaggerated. According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. That’s a rounding error. Liability isn’t even the tail on the cost dog. It’s the hair on the end of the tail.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 23, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

cstern has it exactly right.

I can imagine republicans winning the WH in the next election, but that is a pretty remote chance because Obama is still very popular.

The chances of republicans winning a filibuster proof 60 in the senate however is right up there with pigs flying and (in other porcine news) Rush Limbaugh going through with his promise to move to Costa Rica.

The modern Republican party is just too radical and too racist to win such broad support in modern America - they appeal STRONGLY to their base, and may pick off some right wing moderates, but they just dont occupy the center/left to any extent at all... If they become significantly more moderate on social issues and REALLY increase their appeal to ethnic minorities (Hispanics are probably their best bet) come back and speak to me again, but not anytime before the benefits of HCR kick in and it becomes as sacrosanct as Medicare.

Dont get me wrong however - Dems are still likley to take quite a kicking in the next elections!

Posted by: lazza11 | March 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, You are probably right on this one. IF the status quo is the same in the Republican Party, they *will* be just as lax and lazy as the Democrats currently are.

However, I do see the distinct possibility of them Denying Obama any further Supreme Court Appointments. Stevens wants to get out -- now! And although he is Generally Liberal, he is also very Libertarian, as can be seen in 2002's ACLU v. Ashcroft and any current vote for ObamaCare is not "in the bag" as Democrats are trying to scream, hoping a serious challenge will not emerge.

I think the Law is Unconstitutional from a purely Constitutional Constructionist viewpoint, where at least one state put a law on the books prior to ObamaCare that makes requiring Health Insurance ILLEGAL. I think the 10th Amendement Challenge has legs for that reason, so don't count the votes until the votes are counted. ACORN can't bus in an extra Justice or two, either!

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Overall, the quality of discourse shown here on the HC just passed bodes well for our political future. Mostly intelligent, well- informed and well-meaning. But here's a question: In light of the Dems all believing up until that last couple weeks that they needed 60 votes in the Senate for passage, did the liberals mislead themselves into thinking they had to compromise away from a public option too early, or could they have rallied from the beginning by going for a simple majority vote? In retrospect, did they really have enough votes for simple majority, public option victory?

Posted by: jcluma | March 23, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

What I am trying to say is this: Obama may not have the Political Capital to get Justices appointed AND veto any attempt to overturn what might still be a very unpopular Law. It doesn't take a scolar to figure out that personal economics is a big driver in our political system. When things are bad, people vote on perception of personal gain or loss. This Bill is Front Loaded with COSTS and few benefits to offset them.

Sotomayor is turning out to be a Constitutional COnstructionist, it seems at this point. Obama must be SO disappointed! Stevens tends that way when it comes to personal freedoms. I refer again to ACLU v. Ashcroft. I can accually see this bill being declared Unconstitutional by a margin of 6 to 3. I can also see it surviving by a 5 to 4 vote. The AVERAGE vote seems to be 5 to 4 saying it is Unconstitutional, and that would demoralize a lot of Obama Supporters, and with out Athletic Supporters, Obama's Team gets a big kick in the groin that will put him on the ground.

I have no crystal ball. It really is up in the air. And I am actually happy about that! I have more Faith in the fair and even handling of the matter by the Supreme Court than I ever could have for Reid, Pelosi, Obama, or even Bush! The comparative track records leave no doubt that they can't do any worse!

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Longer term, I can see THIS on the horizon:

Ginsburg == out. Stevens == out. Two new Justices in. Republicans doing their homework and floating names that would appeal to some Democrats but are generally Constitutional Constructionists. Shooting down every Liberal Attempt made to keep even a chance of twisting out new "Judicial Law" in their parlance of Legislation from the bench.

Wade v. Roe overturned by some new case that introduces "Scientific" Proof of Consciousness before birth. A great deal is risked, and it might be for zero gain for the Liberal Progressives!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 23, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is all true, except that isnt going to stop GOP candidates from arousing the great unwashed out there about repealing Obamacare for a couple of election cycles.

Which is fine, the circus must go on. They wont ever be able to, and the ones who arent idiots from Alaska know that.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | March 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The Repeal will be easy as Millions are harassed by the IRS or threatened with Jail time. Americans will discover their power of religious exemption and choose to opt out of Big Government in the same way that the Amish do. The courts likewise will revisit the fundamental question of whether an individual has freedom over their own bodies in the same way that a woman today has the right to choose an abortion or not. The conclusion will be that the governance of our own bodies can not be legislated. The Devil worshippers in Washington will have to do bettor than using the race card, or Republicans, to overcome the tidal wave of arguments in Support of Freedom. Yes, the People wanted HealthCare Reform but through privatization, not a Communist revolution. The Obama power play is based on a false Marxist belief that you can convince the people that God does not exist and therefore personal rights do not exist. The greatness of America however is that our Constitution gives us a Framework to believe in Ourselves and the God who made us. As the encroaching boot of Socialism presses against all Americans throats the people will rediscover the law of our forefathers and reject the George Soros concept of Hope and Change under a puppet Marxist dictator.

Posted by: givenallthings | March 23, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@rmgregory: you must read philosophy!

"Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?"

Sun Tzu

"Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack."

Sun Tzu

I LIKE. Using an omnibus reconciliation bill to paint Obama into a Corner He cannot get out of. Turnaround of the Budget Reconciliation! And the true beauty is this: The Democrats CANNOT attack such a strategy as improper in view of the move they JUST made of the same sort and defended quite vigorously without being seen as absolute hypocrites! They made too much noise for the people to forget so soon! Especially if the Economy is not Booming! (which with Obama and the Democrats in power, and companies withdrawing risk in the face of the uncertainty this bill itself raises, I doubt seriously will come to pass!)

;'{P

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 23, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@srw3:

You are right, the Republicans are ALSO hypocrites to attack the CBO when in the past THEY declared the CBO as the Ultimate Authority! Does that surprise you that I should agree?

The surprise to you I am sure is that the PROVEN track record is that the CBO UNDERESTIMATES the cost of ANY and ALL Federal Programs by a factor of 3 on average! Sometimes they are close, but NEVER have they underestimated the Cost. Other times they have had programs exceed expected costs by a facor of greater than 10 to 1.

Now why is that? You actually alude to it when you call the Republicans Hypocrites correctly! The party in power gets to FEED the assumptions that the CBO must use and the parameters of what they must analyze. On top of that, they know the hand that feeds them. When the Republicans are in power, they placate the Desires of those Elephants! When the Democrats are in power, they placate those Donkeys instead!

The Current CBO estimate takes money from Social Security, almost $500 BILLION from Medicare, which somehow is supposed to support more people with better care when it has been bleeding out for the last couple of decades and is almost completely bankrupt! It also shifts costs to the States, who must presumably raise taxes or cut other, less essential services, like education. It assumes the economy will start groing TODAY (actually a couple of days back) and that it will grow at the best rate we have seen in the last 20 years for the whole of the next 20 years! Does that sound reasonable to you? Will you guarantee I will see that on my 401k?

The smell test of the CBO estimates is this: If you triple the costs, does it still look good? That is a thumb in the air approach, but at least then you have a 50/50 chance! This would flop horribly if you apply that rule of thumb, and I strongly suspect that this estimate has been sooo compromised that even that will severely underestimate the costs!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 23, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Wrong Ezra! Repeal is absolutely possible! The full bill isn't in effect until 2014, so there will be no entrenched receipients to show on television with their healthcare being taken away. The first step: the Republicans gain control of the Senate and House in 2010. Then, one-term Obama is replaced by a Republican in 2012. Reconciliation can then be employed to overcome the filibuster (fair game) and the bill is repealed in 2012.

Posted by: BrerFox | March 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Great post, BrerFox!

Wrong Ezra! Repeal is absolutely possible! The full bill isn't in effect until 2014, so there will be no entrenched receipients to show on television with their healthcare being taken away. The first step: the Republicans gain control of the Senate and House in 2010. Then, one-term Obama is replaced by a Republican in 2012. Reconciliation can then be employed to overcome the filibuster (fair game) and the bill is repealed in 2012.

We will be forever grateful to our representatives who defend us from the Marxist Obamacare scam, which would destroy our health care, our economy, our freedoms and our country if we allow Obama and his comrades to implement it.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 23, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@lazza11,

Look. I am 1/4 Native American. I hate RACISTS like you! My experience leads me to believe that 20% of Black Americans are Racist to some degree. I have had the discussion with College Kids who think that because your skin is Black, you can't be a Racist. Pure B.S.

Wrong! They certainly can, and the attitude in America Enables it, I am afraid. Certainly there are still White People who are Racist. But answer me this: If it is not because of his Race, why do roughly 85% of African Americans support Obama no matter what he does? The justification I usually get is this:

"Because he is Black he understands their plight and better represents them!"

Ok. So those white people with almost identical views as Obama are "no good" because they can't understand? You don't see the problem, do you? The white candidates don't even come close to that level of support, no matter what their views.

The problem is this: If you are allowed to make that arguement, a white person should be able to say that they are for a white candidate because: "They are White and understand my plight and better represent me!" I understand that is not right. So why does Black America get a free pass on THEIR Racism?

I can pass as white. So I can hide from White Racists quite easily until they KNOW I am Indian and Proud of it. The fact is they have rarely treated me with so much disrespect for being Indian as I get from (only some, and hopefully the number will decline if we stop enabling them) Black Americans who want to take it out on me verbally because they think of me as white!

Obama was correct about one thing when he spoke out of turn about the Cambrige Police Officer. Things are getting better, but we have a long way to go. I just don't think he understands HIS responsibility there at all! And neither do you!

Tell me this: What Race is the Democratic National Chairman? How about the Republicans you are calling racist as a knee jerk response?

Strange People, Progressives. I think they must have sniffed too much glue or something...

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Ezra I have news for you. There is a real possibility that starting with November, 2010 the Obama agenda comes to a complete stop unless he has the support of Republicans. Starting in 2011 a majority Republican Congress can start to cut some of the funding via the budget process. Starting in 2012 we may have a Republican President and a Republican Congress. Because you only hang out with the Progressive crowd (about 20% of the electorate) you have no idea how pissed off a majority of Americans are. So as of 2012 this monstrosity may be repealed, unless the Courts act before then. The Supreme Court has already indicated that the Commerece Clause is not unlimited. If you believe that the Dems can force anyone to buy insurance then they can force anyone to buy anything, which means that there was a Federal coup in this country and the States are no longer sovereign and the People are no longer free and the Constitution is just a piece of paper. If that is the case, then we the People through our States (only need 37), need to invoce Article V and call for a Constitutional Convention, which among other things should significantly limit Federal power under the Commerce Clause and cut the cost of the Federal Government to 20% of GDP and its ability to borrow in times when war is not declared. That will quickly bring the Progressive cho cho train to a sudden stop to the benefit of all Americans.

Posted by: acahorvath | March 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"If that is the case, then we the People through our States (only need 37), need to invoce Article V and call for a Constitutional Convention, which among other things should significantly limit Federal power under the Commerce Clause and cut the cost of the Federal Government to 20% of GDP and its ability to borrow in times when war is not declared. That will quickly bring the Progressive cho cho train to a sudden stop to the benefit of all Americans."


Yes. You "only" need 37 states to call for a constitutional convention, so you can rewrite the Constitution to suit your Tea Party ideals. Piece of cake.

When you write your new US Constitution 2.0, you had better bring along somebody who can spell, as you ride that "cho cho train" and "invoce" Article V.

Maybe now that the Democrats have closed the prescription donut hole, you may be able to afford your medication again.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Guess what Ezra?

That's just fine with us right-wingers.

We never opposed reform.

We opposed THIS ill thought out bill... which is more of a power grab than it is real reform.

If it isn't declared unconstitutional first, which is a possibility, we can block implementation by refusing to fund it ( we don't need a supermajority to do that) ...until the President agrees to fundamental reforms.

By the time we are done..this bill will be REAL reform.. A free market based bill with tort reform, decentralized control, health savings accounts, competition of insurance companies across state lines, no single payer, no public option, and no or very few redistributive features.

It's just a law..not a constitutional amendment..and can be molded into what WE want it to be.

Obama will go along to save his baby.

And the Left will be left out in the cold.

Posted by: livfreeordi | March 23, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"A free market based bill with tort reform, decentralized control, health savings accounts, competition of insurance companies across state lines, no single payer, no public option, and no or very few redistributive features."

Wow, what a great plan, reform by less regulation and more free market! It has worked so well so far! It worked so well on Wall Street! Run on that platform in November! PLEASE!

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Thirty to forty million citizens are now going to be added to the rolls of insurance companies and there is no public option. Well, what are the chances that Republicans are going to go down fighting to the death over that one? The chances are about the same as republicans challenging automobile insurance on constitutional grounds.

Posted by: Reesh | March 24, 2010 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Patrick,

to be honest if pre-ex and recision was ended then that system would be fine.

Nothing about what you copied there had anything to do with less regulation and whether you know it or not healthcare is one of it not the most highly regulated industries already (just on the state level rather than the federal).

But instead of doing common sense things we're going to spend $375 million in a program designed to TEACH Americans to be fiscally responsible. What a farce.

listen, healthcare reform's about to fully pass with all the bells and whistles that Dems think will work fantastic. I hope to God it does. I also hope it comes in at or under budget but for some reason whenever government bureaucracy comes into play it NEVER does.

Meet me back here in 2019 and we'll see IF it was $938 Billion or much much more.

is it better than the status quo, absolutely. It doesn't mean that it'll work or work well though.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

"Nothing about what you copied there had anything to do with less regulation"

visionbrker,

I think that removing existing constraints to sell policies across state lines is certainly a form of de-regulation (ask the credit card industry). The first step in the deregulation of the banks was allowing the previously state-charted banks to sprawl across state lines.

Hard to know what the guy meant by "decentralized control" but that would seem to be about less authority constraining from some governmental "center." He references a theme of "free market" -based reform, which logically means that he argues that the problem of the inflationary spiral can be "reformed" by taking away regulation of the market.

And of course he sets up straw men by saying in his reform there shall be no single payer & no public option (which are not in the bill) and no "redistributive features" which apparently means no subsidies, so no mandates, taxes, or penalties (thus no new government intervention to provide more universal coverage).

"is it better than the status quo, absolutely. It doesn't mean that it'll work or work well though."

Yes, we agree that the new law is better than the status quo, and we also agree that it is not a magic solution for everything that drives up costs. For everything, there must be a beginning.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 24, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

AntonioSosa: "We will be forever grateful to our representatives who defend us from the Marxist Obamacare scam, which would destroy our health care, our economy, our freedoms and our country if we allow Obama and his comrades to implement it."

Yup, just like universal health care has destroyed the health, encomony, and freedoms of those living in Australia, New Zealand, France....you know, those peer nations of ours that get just as good if not better results while spending far less than we do.

We're not operating in the dark here; there are other systems we can look to. And the dire consequences that people warn about simply have not happened elsewhere. It's amazing what some people will assert despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: dasimon | March 24, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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