I had to laugh yesterday when I read the lede of a piece by the Washington Times’s Cheryl Chumley that advised that “Republicans … are eyeing a little-known, little-used budget too [sic: tool] called “reconciliation” to “bring down Obamacare.” First of all, using reconciliation — aka the “nuclear option” — has been under consideration by GOP lawmakers since 2011. Second, that parliamentary procedure, which allows a measure to pass the Senate with 51 votes instead of than the normally required 60, is hardly “little known.” It became something of a household word in 2010 when Democrats cynically used it to pass Obamacare (as Chumley herself notes later in the article).
Using it to repeal the benighted health care law would, however, be the ultimate revenge fantasy.
Chumley is correct in her analysis of the potential blowback. She writes:
President Obama would then have to deal with the repeal package on his desk — and while he isn’t likely to sign it, he would have to face the public relations message the Republican Party would send.
And of benefit to Republicans: Sending the repeal to the president would strike a sharp contrast between the two political parties at a time when voters will be mulling the next White House selection.
A poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates in late September found that 59.8% of likely voters want to see Obamacare repealed, with another 44.3% saying they would prefer to see the current health care law replaced by something better. That is in part attributable to costs associated with health care policies under the law being greater than before — not lower, as the president promised when he sold his false bill of goods to the American people. That reality was advertised in 2010, the year the law passed, in a study carried out by none other than MIT economist Jonathan Gruber:
[The] study predicted about 90 percent of individuals without employer-sponsored or public insurance would see their premiums spike by an average of 41 percent. Once tax subsidies were factored in, about 60 percent of those in the individual market were projected to see their premiums go up 31 percent, according to his analysis.
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- Poll: 58% now want Obamacare repealed
- Poll: 60% of Americans want Obamacare repealed