Can the GOP sell reform and repeal?
Reason's Peter Suderman outlines the central dilemma facing Republican legislators who want to roll back health-care reform: They can probably find the votes to change some of the elements conservatives find most egregious, but if they do that, they're implicitly making peace with the bill's existence, which is going to offend the wing of the party that will accept nothing less than full repeal:
Congressional Republicans ran against the health care overhaul, which means they’ll have to pursue it somehow. We’ll probably see a symbolic vote to overturn it—perhaps several. But the most effective and practical way to contain the law between now and 2012 will probably be to go after single sections...The politics of the health care law are such that a few Democrats might be willing to join Republicans in taking out selected parts of the law. Sen. Max Baucus, who oversaw a lot of the early negotiations over the law, is already indicating that he may be open to making changes in the legislation. And Republicans are reportedly on the hunt for other potential Democratic allies.
The upside of a strategy like this is that it stands a chance to result in actual (if small) changes to the law. It’s a path toward opposing the legislation that doesn’t rely mostly on erecting procedural barriers, as defunding strategies and state-led efforts to block or slow implementation would. The downside, at least for those who’d like to scrap the law entirely, is that it could reduce the urgency to repeal the law. Relying on an ongoing series of small tweaks, especially bipartisan tweaks, risks implying that the law doesn’t eventually need to be full overturned.
I can't figure out how they get around this one.
| November 16, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
Categories: Health Reform
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