Healthcare

Leaked Audio: Republicans Have No Idea What to Do About Obamacare

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Washington Post obtained an audio recording of a meeting held yesterday in which Republicans from both chambers of Congress privately revealed that they have no idea what they're doing.

Just in case it wasn't already publicly obvious, congressional Republicans privately admitted they have no idea what to do about the exchanges, taxes, and even Planned Parenthood.

Representative Tom McClintock (R-CA) even referred to their non-existent replacement plan as "Trumpcare."

“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal, said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.” [...]

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) worried that one idea floated by Republicans — a refundable tax credit — would not work for middle-class families that cannot afford to prepay their premiums and wait for a tax refund.

The most asinine comments highlighted by the Washington Post came from Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) who said they should repeal Obamacare and use the cost-savings to fund a replacement, which is just about the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard. The non-existent cost-savings will be "what we’ll need to be able to move to that transition" Portman reportedly said.

Repealing Obamacare would mean repealing all of the mechanisms that pay for coverage, from taxes to even the so-called "risk corridors" that Republicans have previously referred to as "bailouts" before recently deciding that bailouts are actually good.

Moreover, repealing Obamacare would also mean repealing the mechanisms that have reduced the growth of healthcare costs while also increasing the number of costly emergency room visits and possibly even bankrupting rural hospitals.

There are no funds for an Obamacare replacement if you repeal everything that, you know, funds it.

Does Senator Portman understand anything? Does he actually believe a GOP congress would be willing to create their own funding mechanisms after abandoning Obamacare? Is Portman a professional comedian?

This wide range of reactions and difficult questions is why passing Obamacare to begin with was extremely difficult. And yet, at the time, even some people on the left wanted to "kill the bill," as if it could easily be replaced by a nationalized healthcare system.

  • TXDem1945

    Those people are very stupid. Those people are very lazy.
    They do have an advantage: the people who vote for them are also both.

  • muselet

    After quoting the Washington Post on the challenges facing the Rs with regard to replacing the ACA (how to produce a replacement plan quickly, how not to torpedo the health insurance industry, how to keep premiums down, &c) Charlie Pierce had this to say:

    Pro Tip: you can’t do any of that. It doesn’t matter how often you make Susan Collins jump out of a hat. The only way you can do all those things, and still keep millions of people from demanding your heads on a plate, is either to leave the ACA in place, or move toward a single-payer system. (Or, I suppose, you could let the entire American healthcare industry collapse and then blame it on the black guy. There’s always that.)

    Given their past performance, I’ll say the Rs will go for Door Number 3.

    –alopecia

  • Christopher Foxx

    The Washington Post obtained an audio recording of a meeting held yesterday in which Republicans from both chambers of Congress privately revealed that they have no idea what they’re doing.

    I hope they make the recording public. I hope the Democrats make use of this effectively.

    I hope pigs learn to fly.

  • 1933john

    It’s like a bunch of monkeys trying to fuck a football.

    • Ken Kohl

      Hadn’t heard that phrase in quite a while. I suspect we’ll be saying it quite a bit…

  • Aynwrong

    Hey, it turns out that leaked audio has a video component to it as well. Looks like the GOP has got this “Repeal & Replace” business well in hand folks.

    https://youtu.be/VDYautIQaEU

  • Scopedog

    And yet, at the time, even some people on the left wanted to “kill the bill,” as if it could easily be replaced by a nationalized healthcare system.

    Yes. Remember Jane Hamsher pounding this point 24-fucking-7? All the rendering of garments because no public option (and there still is some of that today)? And of course, the counter-productive retaliation when they “sat out” the 2010 midterms to “send a message”?

    Yeah, I remember all of that. I also remember that half-baked looking idiot Dave Lindorff whining about how the ACA should just die, and then we’d get a chance for single payer. The stupid asshole never even considered just how fucking long it would take, and that it had been nearly twenty years since the last attempt to get some kind of HC bill passed had failed.

    And of course, after the GOP began their sneering attacks on the ACA following Trump’s win, the Green Party tweeted that once the ACA was gone, then we could get single payer! Hooray!

    What a bunch of fucking selfish assholes–all of them, from the GOP to the selfish “Kill the Bill” douches on the far Left.

    And as for the guy who’s got the major wood for getting rid of the ACA, Speaker Ryan?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53ec2a9310993cff2866ed5dbc6c922ecd494ed9054398a0f5115ff5804ff0e2.gif

    • Aynwrong

      You always find the GIFs Scope. AND I STEAL ‘EM!!!
      ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      Also, Fuck Ryan.

  • Aynwrong

    “…what we’ll need to be able to move to that transition”

    ~ Human Intellectual Equivalent of a Dead Tree Stump

    This strikes me as the same as demolishing a building simply because you think it’s ugly and then planing to rebuild it out of the recovered debris because you can’t afford the tools and material to build it’s replacement that you still don’t have the blueprints drawn up for anyway. In other words, it sounds like a scheme straight from the brain of the Napoleonic Tangerine himself.

    Good God…

    • Nefercat

      I like Napoleonic Tangerine, the phrase, not the actual tangerine in question.

      • Aynwrong

        Yeah, I’m proud of that one. Still not as good as the Tangerine Nightmare though.