Conservative opposition is mounting to the lipstick-on-a-pig effort to repeal Obamacare without repealing it, that’s coming to be derisively known as swampcare.
So far, the House Freedom Caucus; Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have come out against the plan, putting 218 votes to pass the House at risk, never mind the impossible task in the Senate. More liberal Republicans also don’t like it because it doesn’t have enough entitlements.
And now GOP governors are starting to push against swampcare.
Republican governors lead 33 states, across all regions, and represent states pivotal to President Donald Trump’s victory in November, including much of the upper Midwest. Their role in the health care debate could influence the biggest public policy changes this year and help determine the party’s future.
At the heart of their criticisms is that the House plan would jeopardize coverage for roughly 11 million people covered through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. The law allowed states to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income individuals and their families at costs borne largely by the federal government.
Ohio RINO-in-chief Gov. John Kasich, who hates Trump with the heat of a thousand suns, said “Phasing out Medicaid coverage without a viable alternative is counterproductive and unnecessarily puts at risk our ability to treat the drug-addicted, mentally ill and working poor who now have access to a stable source of care.”
And Maine’s own version of a PayDay bar, Gov. Paul LePage said the effort wasn’t bold enough.
It seems the only way President Trump is going to get this pig through the slaughterhouse is to take it to the left.
Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster – is imploding fast!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2017
Notice Trump tweeted “review and negotiation.” The plan, as written, has little chance of passing without getting Democrats and RINOs on board. To do that, they’ve got to have more entitlements.
What we’ll end up with is Obamacare, minus the standardized coverage, with an insurance-industry-enforced individual mandate, lots and lots of MedicAid expansion, a strange and complicated tax credit system, and sales of plans across state lines. In short: it will be a bloody mess.
But the Democrats and RINOs will love it, vote for it, and reward Trump with the credit. When it all goes pear-shaped, they’ll blame Republicans in Congress. In 2018, this will hang around their necks like a millstone.
Erick is absolutely right. It’s better for the Congress to do nothing at all than have this ball of radioactive waste called swampcare.
In fact, conservatives should fight tooth and nail to ensure Congress does nothing. If Trump (along with Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell) want to work with Democrats to get this thing passed, let them do it. Force them to break left, or let it die.
The spectacle of Trump and GOP leadership kowtowing to the left on health care should be enough of a nightmare to make them kill swampcare. But Congressional Republicans are known for discarding their own parachutes before jumping out of the plane.