The Republican party lost a big fight last week. Obamacare was ruled constitutional and the GOP has been caught fumbling and stumbling over their words for the past few days, struggling to find a singular line of attack against Obamacare.
First, they are calling Obamacare the greatest tax increase in history because of the “penalty” imposed on people who can afford to buy insurance but choose not to. Yet the claim that this penalty is the largest tax increase in history is false. (Not to mention 2 of the last 3 GOP presidents signed larger tax increases than Obamacare.) But more notably, they’re also calling for a #fullrepeal, or as they like to say “repeal and replace,” yet hilariously haven’t taken any time figuring out the “replace” part.
When asked by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday what Republicans will replace Obamacare with Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell struggled to come up with a response. When asked directly how the GOP will insure the nearly 30 million people who are uninsured (which Obamacare will cover)? He replied, “That is not the issue”:
Actually, it’s the whole point of health reform — and skyrocketing costs as a result of the uninsured increase the costs for everyone else in a completely unsustainable system. How do Republicans plan on covering the uninsured, making sure that insurance companies are not denying coverage to people – including children – who have pre-existing conditions, insuring young people up to the age of 26, and making sure that women have affordable access to contraception and reproductive health choices? (Oops, the last one we know isn’t a concern of theirs.)
Like it or not, the Democrats chose to tackle one of the country’s biggest problems, passed legislation, and now have had it upheld by the Supreme Court — and the Republicans want to get rid of it and start all over again, but have absolutely nothing to offer in terms of solutions? The media needs to call them out on this until they actually are forced to come up with a plan that isn’t catchy soundbites focus group tested by Frank Luntz.
Obamacare is far from perfect and obviously not the single payer system progressives would prefer, but it’s much much better than the status quo and there are millions of people already benefiting from the separate components that have already gone into effect. By 2014, once Americans know and start seeing the rest of the law spring into action, we are going to look back at that video of Senator McConnell and laugh.
Partial transcript below via ThinkProgress. If anyone can help with the remainder, please put in comments!
WALLACE: One of the keys to ObamaCare is that it will extend insurance access to 30 million people who are now uninsured. In your replacement, how would you provide universal coverage?
MCCONNELL: Well first let me say the first single thing we can do for the American system is get rid of ObamaCare. … The single biggest direction we can take in terms of improving health care is to get rid of this monstrosity. [...]
WALLACE: But you’re talking about repealing and replace, how would you provide universal coverage?
MCCONNELL: I’ll get to it in a minute. [...]
WALLACE: I just want to ask, what specifically are you going to do to provide universal coverage to the 30 million people who are uninsured?
MCCONNELL: That is not the issue. The question is, how can you go step by step to improve the American health care system. … We’re not going to turn the American health care system into a Western European system.