Another sign of GOP panic on health-care reform

Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, campaigned for a U.S. Senate seat last fall by promising to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, campaigned for a U.S. Senate seat last fall by promising to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

As a good conservative, U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska must claim to be ecstatic at the chance that the Supreme Court will overturn a key component of ObamaCare this summer. After all, Sasse won election last year warning that if ObamaCare lives, “America as we know it will die.” In addition, his home state is one of the seven states that filed suit against the law in King v. Burwell.

Sasse is also a pretty smart guy (he has a Ph.D in history from Yale, writing his dissertation on the post-’50s populist conservative movement and the role played by religion).  And as he writes in the Wall Street Journal, he has peered into his crystal ball and seen potential disaster looming:

“Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell claimed in Senate testimony earlier this month that the administration has no plan to help the seven million citizens who could lose their coverage in the weeks following such a ruling. Translation: Chemotherapy turned off for perhaps 12,000 people, dialysis going dark for 10,000. The horror stories will be real.

What will happen next is predictable: A deluge of attacks on Republicans for supposedly having caused this. Daily White House emergency briefings. Liberal interest-group ads of wheelchairs going over cliffs. President Obama ’s cheerleaders in the media screaming that ideologues are killing patients.

When Team Obama then turns its guns on the holdout states and their 37 governors, the political pressure to adopt ObamaCare will be crippling. I fear that most governors will fold. We’ve already seen some Republican governors finesse their principles to expand Medicaid and secure extra money. The new pressure will be even more acute. If governors cave, ObamaCare is never going away.”

I’d say that’s pretty accurate. The HHS secretary and other administration officials do indeed claim that the administration has no backup plan if the ruling goes against them, because it’s hard to see what that backup plan might be. As Burwell puts it, “We know of no administrative actions that could, and therefore we have no plans that would, undo the massive damage to our healthcare system that would be caused by an adverse decision.”

As Sasse notes, that would cause real pain, even death, to an awful lot of Americans, and conservatives would bear the brunt of the political backlash both because they forced the issue and because after five years of promising a replacement, they have yet to begin any real work on creating one. Since Nebraska is one of the states that have refused to create its own insurance exchange, Sasse would be among those on the receiving end of the barrage.

What to do to avert the coming chaos? It says a lot about the GOP predicament that Sasse’s proposed solution has absolutely zero chance of ever being implemented. As he explains in his op-ed, he will soon introduce a bill that would allow all Americans to keep both their current policies and their subsidies for another 18 months, while an alternative is worked out.

“This would simultaneously avert the full-scale implementation of ObamaCare in these 37 suddenly desperate states,” he writes. “It would also help protect suffering patients entangled in the court’s decision to strike down illegal subsidy payments.”

That sounds rational, and theoretically, the Sasse plan might indeed do those things. Other Republican senators are apparently thinking along the same lines. But believing in his plan requires believing that fresh off an exhilarating court victory, congressional Republicans would vote to extend federal subsidy payments for another 18 months. I don’t know how anybody who has watched Congress over the past five years — including its current impasse over Homeland Security funding — could ever believe that is possible, particularly in the House.

The second part of the Sasse plan is almost equally fanciful. Once that 18-month “grace period” is established, he proposes that the Republican Party use the time “to unify around a specific set of constructive, longer-term solutions, and then turn the 2016 presidential election into a referendum on two competing visions of health care.”

Theoretically, that too would be nice. But the idea that Republicans could reach such an intraparty consensus — particularly in the middle of a presidential primary season — is ludicrous. In short, a plan that requires Republicans to vote to extend ObamaCare subsidies another 18 months while the party gets its act together is useful mainly as a measure of just how desperate the smarter members of the GOP have become.

 

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789 comments
Peachs
Peachs

How did Republicans get the church and rich on their resume, yet saving the poor, the sick and tired are a recipe of the left?You would think some of the humanity would trickle down from the church involvement. If I wonder what Republicans do all day in Washington I am just as curious what they do in church…

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@Peachs 

Seems like your mind is already made up. 

I am genuinely curious about what Obama does all day.  He clearly cares nothing for PDB's.

Any ideas on that, Peachs? 

Peachs
Peachs

@Yes_Jesus_Can @Peachs 

Obama spends a lot of time with his family, most guys I know that are hung with the ego you try to paint O with don’t like spending time with family, Herman and Newt comes to mind but whose counting. And we say O doesn’t get along with the Republican House, along comes the Republican Senate and damn if they can’t get along with these nuts either. Reality is a witch that is very hard to keep in a closet and when it does get out it always makes the Republican Party look bad..

honested
honested

@Peachs 

In the 'new church' jeebus rewards the 'good' with wealth and punishes the 'poor' with misery.

Therefore, if you are successful, you must be 'good' and jeebus loves you, otherwise, you will be punished with poverty and all the fun it entails.

Unfortunately, our many levels of government are packed with people who believe and act on this sort of nonsense.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Don't know if the commentting issues on the next post has anything to do with that post missing a headline...

Peachs
Peachs

The main bolt of lighting would hit the south if this healthcare is drowned in the Supreme Court this week. The other astonishing fact is 61% of the terminated are white.I love the south, they go out to fight and find the enemy is us so to speak. It always amazes me that the rest of the country even tries to save the fools that can’t or won’t save themselves yet have such sage advice for the rest of the world. Failure is not a book for success boys…

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@Peachs 

I love the south, they go out to fight and find the enemy is us so to speak. It always amazes me that the rest of the country even tries to save the fools that can’t or won’t save themselves yet

-----------------------------

I love you too Peachs, but you are a hot mess. 

Peachs
Peachs

@Yes_Jesus_Can @Peachs 

What makes America great is it carries the low achievers along with the winners. It allows factions to stay in the game long enough to finally get rich then claim they achieved it independently. Most of us could pass Algebra if we could take the test four or five times.What has hurt this country more than it will admit is the loss chances of the dead we lost in war or health issues; once you are dead the game is over.And the generations of dead after that body fell that might of contributed, maybe if the south had not lost so much in wars long ago they would have advance as quickly as the rest of the nation.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Sheets!!!!  But I can't seem to post a comment. 


Jay, did I break something again? 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@LogicalDude 

It's just as well that we can't post. It's about Beverly Hall which will soon digress into but...but...but...OBAMA !

Peachs
Peachs

The Republican healthcare plan would consist of some Oral Roberts type curing leprosy with a whack on the forehead and declaration of healed.In the meanwhile they are tripping all over dead bodies in a “your parrot is not dead just sleeping”, naïveté.

LeninTime
LeninTime

"But then, you're such a trusting soul when it comes to **** Democrats **** ."

***
Priceless. 

In honor of this wonderful formulation, I propose that we remember it and pull it out in the future as a stock response, with appropriate modifications of course, against those 'trusting' ones here who might be more truly deserving of it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime

Long as we're stuck here...

Actually, my trusting nature failed me when I thought that perhaps our Capt. O might consider that I'd gone to bat for him on the namejacking issue on several occasions (including flagging the offending comments for Jay), and that Capt. O might think for a nanosecond before calling me an "idiot" for having imagined a namejacker's comments were Capt. O's.

so yeah, I guess I am "a trusting soul". More fool me, as the Brits say.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level-head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle and Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@DownInAlbany  

"“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where  ...."


... Hillary's syncophants would not support her every action.

straker
straker

AyeAye


Obama wants to raise taxes by closing corporate loopholes that allow companies to dodge paying their fair share of taxes.  You forgot to give that little detail.



KUTGF
KUTGF

@straker  I don't think "forgot" is the right word when its an intentional feature.  ;)

TBS
TBS

@td1234 @straker


And there is this other pesky thing in that who has seen this the actual EO that is going to raise taxes?

Not some OpEd but the actual EO. 

td1234
td1234

@straker The problem is that little pesky thing called the Constitution. Only the Congress has the power to levy taxes. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@TBS @td1234 @straker Obama has gotten really good at not ACTUALLY issuing an EO...he just instructs the various departments to do what he says..

Much more nefarious than an EO.

TBS
TBS

@DownInAlbany @TBS @td1234 @straker


Cool. You be the first to let the blog know when this tax increase is implemented as it is being sold by the right wing pundits.

I can't wait. 

Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson

@Captain-Obvious @straker The Presdient submits a budget plan to Congress, and in that plan he puts in how he intends to pay for the things he is requesting.  Then the House is supposed to pass legislation and appropriate what the Chief Executive is proposing,  or not.  NOT seems to be where the problem is right now.  They do not want to give him anything that will be a success for Democrats, including legislation we would all favor..

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

It will be nothing again about Hillary.....same ole pattern, get accused of something, then media covers not the accusation, but those commenting on accusation, how "mean" and "evil" they are.....

AyeAyeSir
AyeAyeSir

"Obama "Very Interested" In Raising Taxes Through Executive Action"


I'm happy this is coming out now also. 


The Supreme Court does not operate in a vacuum and it will just take one of them to reign in King Obama on his unconstitutional immigration grab as a way to stop further usurpations like raising taxes.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@AyeAyeSir  I see today is a King Obama unconstitutional power grab dictator day......  is tomorrow the weak feckless non-leader who cant do anything day?  Just want to color code my calendar so I know which Obama to expect. 

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@AyeAyeSir I'm happy to see Georgia Republican plans to expand sales taxes so retirees that pay no state income tax on their pensions will finally have to give back a little.

KUTGF
KUTGF

Oh my.....  personal email account.  Not much said about Jeb releasing emails with personal information including SSNs from those who wrote to him for help.  Hey.....  wonder why they are quiet about Walker's secret email system.  Hmmmmm......  what about Christie staff use of personal email. 


But I am sure that this is the DOWNFALL of Hillary because of the GOP outrage!!!!!  This cannot be tolerated when it is not a GOP matter. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF There's a wee bit of difference between a mistake and an intentional effort.

Just sayin

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@KUTGF Federal laws on handling emails apply to Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker.


Who would have thought that.

Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson

@Captain-Obvious @KUTGF Now discuss how the GW Bush Administration st an entire eMail system not just for the President, but for everyone connected with the GOP in the White House, and how those hard disks vanished with him when he left office.  GOP hypocrisy is astounding, every day.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Oh, my goodness!  What's made our conservative friends so cranky this morning?

Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson

@Nick_Danger There's a reason why the are called Angry Old White Guys, it's what they are all the time.