by John Grooms
You have to wonder whether Republicans in Congress are starting to regret having voted to repeal health care reform. Many people are up in arms over the prospect of losing some of the reform acts more popular provisions such as being able to get insurance despite having a pre-existing condition, and keeping kids on their insurance until age 26. The GOPs answer to those complaints has been that if the repeal is passed, they would work out those pesky, popular details at the tail-end of the process. Of course, no one expects repeal to pass the full Congress, so Republicans thought they could get away with threatening valued aspects of health care reform without paying a political price for it. Ain't workin' out that way.
Now, the GOP wants the U.S. Senate to vote on the matter, saying it has to do so since thats what their party promised voters during the 2010 campaign. Never mind the weird argument that Democrats are obliged to fulfill Republican campaign promises. The real issue, considering that several individual parts of the reform act are very popular, is how much embarrassment does the GOP want to bring on itself? Democrats in the Senate are rubbing the Republicans noses in it today, in the form of a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The two Dems asked Cantor whether the passage of a repeal measure would mean that the government would tell old people that they have to send back the $250 they received to help pay for prescription drugs. Its a good question, and its also good politics. Republicans who were expecting to slide through the whole repeal Obamacare charade without being called out for the negative impacts that an actual repeal would generate may be having second thoughts. That is, if you really want to call what goes through Reps. Virginia Foxx , Louie Gohmert, and Steve Kings minds actual thoughts.