Eugene Robinson: “The GOP’s rude awakening on health-care repeal”


Eugene Robinson stuck to the facts, and noted that by a careful count, 62 percent of Americans oppose the Republican vote to repeal the new health care law:

What actually happened, though, is that the Republican majority managed to win the votes of just three Democrats – all of them Blue Dogs who have been consistent opponents of the reform package anyway. In terms of actual defectors, meaning Democrats who changed sides on the issue, there were none. This is momentum?

The unimpressive vote came at a moment when “the will of the people” on health care is coming into sharper focus. Most polls that offer a simple binary choice – do you like the “Obamacare” law or not – show that the reforms remain narrowly unpopular. Yet a significant fraction of those who are unhappy complain not that the reform law went too far but that it didn’t go far enough. I think of these people as the “public option” crowd.

Eugene Robinson, op-ed writer, Washington Post
Washington Post header for Eugene Robinson’s columns                                                                      .

The numbers:

A recent Associated Press poll found that 41 percent of those surveyed opposed the reform law and 40 percent supported it. But when asked what Congress should do, 43 percent said the law should be modified so that it does more to change the health-care system. Another 19 percent said it should be left as it is.

More troubling for the GOP, the AP poll found that just 26 percent of respondents wanted Congress to repeal the reform law completely. A recent Washington Post poll found support for outright repeal at 18 percent; a Marist poll pegged it at 30 percent.

In other words, what House Republicans just voted to do may be the will of the Tea Party, but it’s not “the will of the people.”

[My math:  43% +19%=62%.]

The facts:

The CBO, which “scores” the impact of proposed legislation, calculated that the health-reform law will reduce federal deficits by at least $143 billion through 2019. Confronted with the fact that repeal would deepen the nation’s fiscal woes, Republicans simply claimed the CBO estimate to be rubbish. Who cares what the CBO says, anyway?

Er, um, Republicans care, at least when it’s convenient. Delving into the CBO’s analysis, they unearthed a finding that they proclaimed as definitive: The reform law would eliminate 650,000 jobs. Hence “Job-Killing” in the repeal bill’s title.

One problem, though: The CBO analysis contains no such figure. It’s an extrapolation of a rough estimate of an anticipated effect that no reasonable person would describe as “job-killing.” What the budget office actually said is that there are people who would like to withdraw from the workforce – sometimes because of a chronic medical condition – but who feel compelled to continue working so they can keep their health insurance. Once the reforms take effect, these individuals will have new options. That’s where the “lost” jobs supposedly come from.

So, in other words, Republicans voted to keep people slaves to jobs that provide health care benefits.  The party of  Abraham Lincoln has fallen so far not even Abraham Lincoln at his most charitable moment would recognize it any longer.

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6 Responses to Eugene Robinson: “The GOP’s rude awakening on health-care repeal”

  1. Ed,

    The economics are sound? Really?

    Nick,

    They can’t see you entering that.

    Like this

  2. Nick K says:

    To address the person who wrote:
    Somebody just forgot November, short memories on the left, eh?

    Nope, not forgetting November. Just that the left is not deluding itself into the reasons for what happened in November. You and your fellow right wingers can continue to pretend it had something to do with health care reform…but the polls prove you’re an idiot for thinking that way.

    But here, I’ll help you with a clue: It’s the economy stupid.

    Of course now your side is going to be held to account for the lack of a economic recovery by the time a year and a half pass. Have fun.

    Oh and by the way…maybe you can answer this question: Exactly why should a couple, who’s kids are all grown up and married, and have no major medical problems should have to pay a third of their 80,000 yearly income to their health insurance company?

    Like this

  3. [...] Somebody just forgot November, short memories on the left, eh? [...]

    Like this

  4. Nick K says:

    Apparently Morgan has never realized that going to the emergency room is more expensive then getting preventative care.

    Why morgan wants the American people to spend more money on something then they need to I’m not even sure Morgan can explain.

    Tell us, Morgan, how economically productive do you think a sick person is versus a healthy person?

    Like this

  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Preventive medicine saves money. When people are healthy and don’t need expensive care, we save money.

    It’s not that difficult to understand, really. The economics are sound, and have been well known for 200 years. Why do Republicans suddenly have no brains to understand simple economics of health care? Could it be politics?

    Like this

  6. The CBO, which “scores” the impact of proposed legislation, calculated that the health-reform law will reduce federal deficits by at least $143 billion through 2019. Confronted with the fact that repeal would deepen the nation’s fiscal woes, Republicans simply claimed the CBO estimate to be rubbish. Who cares what the CBO says, anyway?

    Sticking to the facts doesn’t do an awful lot of good when you’re allowing someone else to entirely dictate what the “facts” are, and respond with absolute credulity when what results from this flies in the face of common sense. Providing a new entitlement program will save hundreds of billions from the alternative of not providing it; repealing the entitlement program will bankrupt the system.

    “Well, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, I’m telling you.”

    By the time a child graduates from the fifth grade, when he’s told +1 is equal to -1, I would expect him to identify what’s wrong with this. Apparently that isn’t part of being a good citizen anymore.

    Like this

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