Hey Repubs?  How’s that Repeal-the-Bill Thingy Workin’ Out For Ya? (UPDATED)

Anyone remember the right wing noise machine loudly declaring that they would repeal the Affordable Care Act almost before the ink from Obama’s multiple pens had solidified on his signature?  Anyone see the video of Michele Bachmann-Batshit-Overdrive* leaning over the balcony of the Capitol shrieking that she was introducing this bill to repeal the Act which had just been passed by the House (and was later amended and re-named by the Senate through reconciliation)?  Anyone watch Newt Gingrich on “Meet the Press” declare that every Republican would absolutely run on a definite pledge to totally repeal the legislation?

So, a few weeks later, what can you say but.  Wah, wah, wah.

Surprisingly Michele’s bill doesn’t have many takers nor do a couple of companion bills:

About one month later, neither Bachmann’s bill nor companion bills in the House and Senate have won majority support from their peers. Only 52 House Republicans have co-sponsored Bachmann’s repeal bill, H.R. 4903, and only 62 House Republicans have co-sponsored Rep. Steve King’s (Iowa) repeal bill, H.R. 4972. Most of the same people have co-sponsored both. Only 20 Republican senators have co-sponsored Sen. Jim DeMint’s (S.C.) repeal bill, S. 3152. That worries some Republicans who want to run hard on repeal in November.

Well, first of all, the Repubs have had other massive, socialist gummint takeovers by Obama to fend off so they’ve been busy!  But maybe another reason has to do with the fact that benefits of health care reform are kicking in already and people like it!  In addition to the fact that insurors announced that they won’t fight covering dependents until they are 26 and won’t try to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, despite what they see as “loopholes” in that part of the law, the latest announcement by AHIP, related to recission is huge.

One of the more shameful practices of the health insurance industry has been to cherry pick patients with costly illnesses, such as HIV and breast cancer, and look for ways, any ways, to cancel their coverage.  This delightful practice is known as recission.  The new law will make this practice illegal starting September 1.  However the industry has just announced that they will voluntarily comply with the reform provisions effective May 1.

While I appreciate the positive tone of the White House announcement of their action (“It’s heartening to see that the insurance companies who employed these terrible practices – and fought reform – are coming around doing the right thing by instituting the ban right away.”) do any of you think the insurance companies are doing this because they realize the error of their ways and want to make amends?  I don’t.  Insurance companies are run by people who are actually pretty smart, if ethically challenged.  They understand that health care reform may be tweaked but it will not be repealed.  And they will be coming into a competitive environment when mandates come into effect.  They simply realize that their image needs some reforming too and might as well go for it sooner rather than later.  Suckers Consumers have short memories.

So I’ll be interested to hear just how loud those calls for repeal will still be come October.

UPDATE:  Steve Benen reports on John Boehner’s interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR this morning where he simultaneously renews the vow to repeal reform AND takes credit for the pieces of the law that are popular.  As Steve says, it’s an interesting exchange:

  INSKEEP: As you know, Democrats are already pointing to things that are changing in America because of this bill. They will point to the fact that college seniors, who would have been kicked off their families’ insurance plans when they graduated, will get to stay on. Insurance companies are now saying they’re going to end the practice of “rescission,” where they take, or at least modify…

  BOEHNER: Both of those ideas, by the way, came from Republicans, and are part of the common sense ideas that we ought to have in the law.

  INSKEEP: Well, are you going to repeal those two specific things?

  BOEHNER Uh, what I want to repeal are the other 158 mandates, commissions, boards that set up all the infrastructure for the government to take control of our health care system. [emphasis added]

The DCCC’s national press secretary, Ryan Rudominer, has the appropriate response:

Once again House Republican Leader Boehner displays no respect for the truth as he sits on the sidelines rooting for failure and then tries claims credit for House Democrats accomplishments. Boehner is a shameless political opportunist whose double speak and phony talking points are as real as his fake orange tan.

Nuff said.


* h/t for the moniker to a commenter I saw recently on another blog (sorry I can’t remember where!)

Posted by marindenver on 04/30/10 at 01:00 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersElection '10Health CareNutters

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Ahh, yes, recission.  The ACTUAL death panels.  The result of private industry.  But remember—SOCIALISM!

@John Ball - yes, as you say, the actual death panels.  Be a good campaign line for opponents of Repeal-the-Billers - Rep. Soandso wants to repeal reform and restore the real death panels!

That’s because head Oompa Loopa John Boehner is busy taking credit for the “good parts” of the bill.

No, really.

Ha, I just saw that too, Tom!  In fact I just updated the post to include it.  What a wanker that guy is.

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