Republicans are in Act II of the Kabuki theatre presentation of “how to repeal Obamacare without repealing it.”
Now we’re down to “skinny repeal,” whatever that is. I ask that question seriously, since we actually don’t know what it is yet.
Republicans told the Washington Examiner that voting for a skinny repeal would not be considered the final proposal. Instead, it would be used as a vehicle to bring the House and Senate together to work on an entirely new bill in a conference committee that would last into September.
This is the fallback position outlined and endorsed by the old warhorse Sen. John McCain, who called for a return to the process and traditions of the Senate. Bipartisanism is great if it works, but it’s not going to work.
Obamacare was shoved down Republicans’ (and the nation’s) throats in 2010 by a Democratic congress feeling its oats, never considering that one day would come when they were no longer in power. I’d say that day has come, but it really hasn’t. Just the fear of Democrats being in power–or losing a coveted Senate seat by the one whose backside occupies it–is keeping Republicans from doing anything constructive.
Therefore, we now have a return of congeniality, in which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can craft a truly Democrat-inspired health plan that paves the way for single-payer socialized medicine the next time Democrats are actually in power.
But they are at least going to do something to prevent Obamacare from completely failing (I think). They might do something about double-digit premium increases, loss of choice (in some areas, to zero carriers in the Obamacare market), and doctors refusing to accept Medicaid.
But not today.
Today they’re kicking the can down the road, declaring victory for the “process,” and heading off to their constituents to explain how much better things will be when bipartisan committees can do everything in “full transparency.”
And I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.