Jul 8, 201301:47 PMLeft Business Brain
with Tom Breuer
Republicans across the country unite to derail Obamacare — Wisconsin pitches in
(page 1 of 2)
You know, I’m starting to get the feeling that Republicans don’t want to see President Obama succeed at all. Call me paranoid, but it’s almost like they’re going out of their way to sabotage his efforts. I know. Crazy.
The latest indication came when leading Republicans banded together to head off an Obama administration plan to have the NFL and other sports leagues help promote Obamacare.
Senate Republicans got wind of the fact that Obama and his confederates were actually trying to make implementation of the Affordable Care Act go smoothly and sprang into action, urging the NFL, et al., to stay out of the business of helping our president help the country.
“Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of the health care law, it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,” the two senators who are very concerned about your health wrote.
The gambit worked. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello later replied: “We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about [the law’s] implementation.”
- While a recent CNN/ORC international poll did indicate that a majority of Americans currently oppose Obamacare, fully 16% said they opposed it because it wasn’t liberal enough. Interestingly enough, as the Supreme Court was considering the constitutionality of the law last summer, polls at the time also showed that Americans tended to oppose the law. Of course, they also tended to support many of the provisions of the law, particularly the part about preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. That leads me to believe many Americans actually like the Affordable Care Act, which they’ve never heard of, but hate Obamacare, which Sean Hannity talks about every day in the most unflattering and demonic terms imaginable.
- The cows are out of the barn on this one. In other words, the Affordable Care Act is law. It was passed by Congress, signed by the president, validated by the Supreme Court of the United States of America and, as of this writing, has survived 37 (no, seriously) House Republican attempts to repeal it. So the “political” part is over. What the Obama administration wanted to do by partnering with the NFL was educate the public about the law (like Massachusetts did with Romneycare) and get young people, whose participation is vital to the success of health care reform, to sign up for health insurance. Getting young folks to enroll in health care plans to shore up the system, an idea that was originally proposed by the uber-conservative Heritage Foundation and later supported by both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich (before they opposed it), would help make health care reform (and universal health care) viable. That’s one outcome the GOP can’t tolerate, however, so obstruction is the one and only health care reform plan Republicans have to fall back on.
Of course, the other obstructionist strategy is to interfere with the implementation of Obamacare on the state level. For instance, under the law, states can expand their Medicaid programs, extending coverage to people whose incomes put them at 133% of the poverty level. The federal government would pay for 100% of the expansion in the first few years and 90% thereafter. Who in their right mind would turn that down?
Well, Scott Walker for one. Of course, what Walker and Republican legislators did makes no sense at all because, as state Democrats pointed out, rejecting the additional Medicaid funds means it will cost the state $150 million more to provide coverage to 85,000 fewer people. But on the bright side, it will also make Obamacare appear less successful to people who aren’t paying very close attention. So — lose-win.
On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced it plans to delay the implementation of the employer mandate in the health care law, saying it has listened to the concerns of businesses and recognized that most employers need more time to implement the law’s requirements.
Naturally, Republicans pounced. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
“The best delay for Obamacare is a permanent one,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said just hours after the administration’s announcement.
Yeah, brilliant one-liner, Rep. Cantor. Maybe you could go on tour with Ted Nugent.