The Batshit Caucus Shoots Down Leaked Obamacare “Replacement”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The GOP's Obamacare "replacement" bill that leaked last week is horrible. The bill would roll back Medicaid expansion, drastically reduce subsidies and increase premiums, and replace the individual mandate with a system that punishes you with higher premiums if you go an extended period of time without coverage for any reason.

But with all of that said, their fantasy replacement still isn't bad enough for some Republicans.

The chairman of the Batshit Caucus said last night that the GOP's nightmarish replacement is too liberal.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who heads the House Freedom Caucus, told CNN Monday he would vote against a bill that looked like the leaked draft, and that other conservatives had similar concerns about the proposals' tax credits for individual insurance as well as its tax on the most generous employer-based plans.

"What is conservative about a new entitlement program and a new tax increase? And should that be the first thing that the President signs of significance that we sent to the new President?" Meadows said "A new Republican president signs a new entitlement and a new tax increase as his first major piece of legislation? I don't know how you support that -- do you?"

The Flying Monkey Caucus isn't alone.

A group of Republicans senators including the likes of Rand, son of Ron, joined their batshit colleagues in opposition last night.

"2 yrs ago, the GOP Congress voted to repeal Obamacare. That 2015 repeal language should be the floor, the bare minimum. #FullRepeal," said Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, referring to a repeal bill that was vetoed by President Barack Obama.

Paul went on to call some GOP plans "Obamacare lite." Republicans would likely need 50 of the 52 GOP senators to vote for a repeal-and-replace bill, so the trio could sink any proposal they dislike.

A Freedom Caucus defection would be enough by itself to sink a bill before it even reaches the Senate but, in the event that the House does pass this bill or something similar to it, there are too many Republican in the Senate opposed to the plan to advance it any further.

Senator Susan Collins (R) is also opposed to the House GOP leadership's plan, but for different reasons. She believes repealing Medicaid expansion would be a big mistake. Several other Republican senators have also expressed skepticism toward the House plan.

The exact nature of their opposition is important because the elements conservatives oppose, such as the tax on employer-based healthcare, is how Speaker Paul Ryan intends to pay for his plan. And the refundable tax credits, which conservatives also oppose, are intended to be Ryan's replacement for health insurance exchange subsidies.

The most fundamental elements and basis for Ryan's entire plan are meeting the most opposition.

Wherever he is, John Boehner must be laughing his ass off.

  • Aynwrong

    It’s amazing to remember that this is the same party that once had a president openly campaigning for an unpaid for entitlement called Medicare part D which so many of their voters (who of course voted for this exact situation) now depend on for healthcare.

    Were watching the devolution of a political party right before our very eyes.

  • ninjaf

    Republicans love to say that elections have consequences. We voted on Ryan’s plan when he was the 2012 VP candidate. I believe the answer the American people gave was a resounding, “No.” But whatever. Keep fucking that chicken.

    Another idea is that Republicans could get together with Democrats and do some bipartisan legislating. But that is also anathema to them.

  • muselet

    This is hilarious, of course, the Right squabbling with the far-Right over just how hard to screw over the American public.

    The problem is, there are only two ways I can see this ending: 1) the Rs simply throw up their hands and slap a new name and some weird social-engineering—no health insurance for anyone who’s not straight, maybe?—onto the ACA, declare it TrumpCare™ and call it a day; or, 2) the nihilists overwhelm the mere Visigoths and repeal the ACA “root and branch”—as Mitch McConnell said—without a replacement.

    The first outcome is unlikely. The Freedumb Caucus would have a colossal meltdown and burn the government to the graound (that might not be a metaphor), and The Base would descend upon Washington DC with pitchforks and torches (that’s absolutely not a metaphor).

    The second outcome is, for obvious reasons, nightmarish for the public, and the health insurance industry would collapse. Followed by pitchforks and torches.

    If we’re very lucky, the Rs will continue to bicker until we have a chance to vote them out of the majority in Congress.


    • Scopedog

      If we’re very lucky, the Rs will continue to bicker until we have a chance to vote them out of the majority in Congress.