WaPo: GOP in 'Retreat' on Obamacare Repeal

WaPo: GOP in 'Retreat' on Obamacare Repeal

The Washington Post, desperate to split the GOP as the fortunes of the GOP in 2014 look ever rosier, has a piece asserting that GOP candidates are backing off from repealing Obamacare. 

The implicit goal of the Post, of course, is to alienate the conservative base from members of the GOP so that Democrats can sneak through and hold on to what seats in Congress they can.

The Post states that the candidates willing to abandon efforts to repeal Obamacare are more interested in a “piecemeal approach” by which they would pick and choose which parts of Obamacare they would retain. The article cites candidates that are championed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, such as Rep. Joseph J. Heck (R-NV), Republican Massachusetts House contender Richard Tisei, and Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby.

The Post cleverly quotes a recent column for the Cook Political Report asserting that “a shift already is underway” on the airwaves. One problem: the Cook Political Report comes from the leftist National Journal.

The Post admits that Scott Brown, running for the Senate in New Hampshire, is for repealing Obamacare. The article twists another candidate’s view this way: “In Minnesota, Republican House candidate Stewart Mills pledges in a campaign ad to ‘replace’ the law, rather than simply repealing it.” Somehow the Post doesn’t understand replacing something means getting rid of what preceded it.

When the Post is looking for some GOP group to back its thesis, it turns to Glen Bolger, a partner with the GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, who says, “The sentiment toward the Affordable Care Act is still strongly negative, but people are saying, ‘Don’t throw the baby out’ with the bathwater.”

However, if Public Opinion Strategies thinks that the strategy of backing away from repealing Obamacare is a recent phenomenon, then why were they pushing it back in November of 2013? Their blog then read like this:

Three. The only way the President can bump up support of Obamacare is by luring an unpopular GOP into a fight in which Republicans are sure to get the partisan short end of the stick.

Four. The president and his allies in the Senate will take every opportunity to tempt the GOP into Republicans-versus-Obamacare fights between now and Election Day. And, they will win most of them.

The Post notes that the House GOP want to postpone a vote on their own health-reform proposal as an argument supporting its thesis, quoting “lawmakers” as saying the delay would give the GOP more “time to work on the bill and weigh the consequences of putting a detailed policy before the voters in the fall.”

Who would be a reliable source on the motives of the GOP? Why, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who said the GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare “backfired… now they’re promising fixes but won’t be specific. That’s like a car dealer offering you a trade-in without telling you the car you’re getting in return. No one would buy that, and voters won’t buy this Republican scheme.”

The Post does admit that “a significant number of GOP Senate and House aspirants still back the idea of fully repealing the Affordable Care Act, including Senate candidates Tom Cotton (Ark.), Terri Lynn Land (Mich.), and Thom Tillis (N.C.).”

But the Post reserves the bulk of the article for its chief target, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It acknowledges he has vowed “to rip up Obamacare ‘root and branch'” but then segues into an attack on McConnell for asserting that repealing Obamacare is unconnected to the fate of Kynect, Kentucky’s state-run exchange. McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore has stated that Kynect could continue operating even if Obamacare is repealed. She stated, “If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace.”

The campaign manager for Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell’s Democratic opponent, stated inaccurately, “McConnell has voted to destroy Kynect – and he has said he will do it again.”

Finally, at the conclusion of the article, the Post quotes Jahan Wilcox, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, who stated in an email that Obamacare remains a prime target for the GOP, naming opponents such as Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia. Wilcox said succinctly, “We are thrilled Democrats are set to embrace their job-killing healthcare law.”

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