We won’t try to repeal all of ObamaCare, says Cornyn

posted at 5:43 pm on March 23, 2010 by Allahpundit

There’s probably something he could have said that would depress his base more than this, but offhand, I can’t think what that might be. He’s trying to reassure centrists here that repeal wouldn’t mean a return to the status quo but merely replacing O-Care with a more moderate GOP-crafted plan — after all, even a stalwart like Pence offered to work with centrist Dems on bipartisan reform — but given the anxiety among the grassroots that Republicans won’t have the political will to roll this thing back even after they return to power, this is pure poison.

Limbaugh warned them yesterday (see here at around 3:55) that the “repeal!” cries had better be more than a campaign slogan. So much for that.

In the wake of the passage of health care reform, nearly the entire slate of Republican senatorial candidates seems ready to run on a repeal of the bill. But now, the lawmaker overseeing their election strategy is softening the message. Rather than promising to scrap the bill in its entirety, the GOP will pledge to just get rid of the more controversial parts…

“There is non-controversial stuff here like the preexisting conditions exclusion and those sorts of things,” the Texas Republican said. “Now we are not interested in repealing that. And that is frankly a distraction.”

What the GOP will work to repeal, Cornyn explained, are provisions that result in “tax increases on middle class families,” language that forced “an increase in the premium costs for people who have insurance now” and the “cuts to Medicare” included in the legislation…

The senator’s comments on Tuesday also included a push to restore funds for Medicare Advantage — an odd political moment, considering the GOP’s self-promotion as the party that trims the fat off entitlement programs.

“Without perhaps realizing it,” writes Ramesh Ponnuru, “Cornyn has come out for tinkering at the edges of Obamacare.” Indeed. I shudder to think what the tea party reaction will be to third-party candidacies now, but the political consequences here are less alarming than the policy consequences. Does Cornyn … not understand that the preexisting conditions exemption will also drive up premiums? If insurers can’t refuse to cover high-risk clients, that risk will need to be spread. And guess who it’ll be spread to. Quoth Ross Douthat:

But to the extent that Cornyn’s vision coheres, what he seems to be proposing is a reform of the reform that keeps the goodies and takes away the spending cuts and tax increases that pay for them.

California, here we come …

Here’s Cornyn’s statement insisting that he was misquoted by HuffPo. Was he?

Some media outlets have misrepresented my position on repealing and replacing the President’s $2.6 trillion health care bill. Make no mistake about it: I fully support repealing this Washington takeover of health care and replacing it with a bipartisan bill that lowers the cost of health care.

“Republicans have long pointed out that there are areas of health care reform where there is bipartisan agreement. Yet, instead of working with Republicans to solve issues of bipartisan concern such as pre-existing condition exclusions, Democrats insisted on a purely partisan bill that included massive tax hikes, trillions of dollars in new taxpayer spending, and cuts to Medicare, while failing to address rising health care costs.

“We will do what Democrats failed to do; start with common-sense measures and craft a truly bipartisan bill that does not raise taxes, does not pillage $500 billion from a bankrupt Medicare program and does not increase premiums on working families.

To some extent we’re arguing semantics here — “partial repeal plus some new provisions” is equivalent to total repeal plus a substitute Republican law that replicates a few aspects of O-Care — but it’s half-assed to identify individual provisions that’ll be kept in place not because they’re cost-effective or because they’re essential to a grand GOP plan but because they’re “non-controversial.” That’s dangerously close to saying they’ll be retained because they’re popular, which, per Douthat, is precisely how California ended up in the mess it’s in. The time has come for hard choices. Are they up to it?


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America’s a worse place for John McCain’s service. We’d be in better shape if he’d just stayed home and gotten a job at Blockbuster.

happyfeet on March 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Look we should support Tea Perties candites like all get out in the primary.
Investgate which R could have a shot at the primary and do everything you can to get that canditite in.
If they wil great if they lose throw the same energy around the R that won.
Most tea party candites in my area aren’t running as independents.

By the way my Aunt in the UP states the UP is ticked off at Kaputs Stupak.

Gracelynn on March 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Are you all sure insurance companies won’t be able to charge more for pre-existing?

I thought they could, but there would be a cap on how much the difference could be. Something like no more than 2X the premium for an otherwise identical policy without the pre-existing condition.

Can someone verify?

angryed on March 23, 2010 at 6:42 PM

-I think they can charge up to 150% of a baseline amount depending on age, sex and one other element. I don’t remember anything about being able to charge more for pre-existing conditions.

There is way to much “misinformation” on pre-existing conditions… If you are insured through your employers group with company A and move to company B and are covered under Company B’s plan, you will be covered but for pre-existing conditions. After a specific time has passed (usually 6 months) there is usually coverage for the pre-existing conditions. There could be a an insurance product called “gap” insurance that would insure for this condition during the gap period.

The unisurable could go to an assigned risk pool to spread the risk throughout the insurers, they can be randomly assigned to each insurer, then slowly incorporated into the regular risk pool..

As to lifetime caps this could be done through 1. savings accounts that build up over the years and the offering of a re-insurance type policy sorta like an umbrella policy that covers liability exposures. The health umbrella policy would only kick in after the underlying policy max has been reached. Umbrella liability policies are relatively affordable as the underlying policies (auto/homeowners) usually are enough for the exposure.. I could go on, but then I would sound like an insurance wonk.

kringeesmom on March 23, 2010 at 6:55 PM

–So what happens if you can’t find full time work with benefits for several years or ever once you’re terminated from a job? I’m not aware of any “gap” policy sold on the individual market that gives coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM

But my favorite part in the Reconcilliation bill, that all doctors are paid the same, no matter what their speciality is… so the best heart surgeon in the world, will get the same pay as me seeing my GP…

Romeo13 on March 23, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Oh my gosh is that really in there? It can’t be. Why would anyone go into the harder kinds of medicine if they didn’t get paid more? Surely this is a mistake.

petunia on March 23, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Reading through some more recent posts and you all have a suicide wish. If you are stuck on the can the Rino talk we will see more of Obama and more things like this bill.

I am more discouraged at reading these posts than I am over the bill.

Conservatives have learned nothing. You are still blaming “RINOs” instead of yourselves.

If you continue to only accept candidates with a narrow narrow ideology. We will have Marxist rule forever.

Conservatives have learned nothing from their failure to support McCain.

The worst RINO on his worst day is so much better than Obama or Pelosi or any of the Marxists. Yet you would rather have ideological purity on our side than a free country.

Unbelievable.

This is a sad day.

petunia on March 23, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Meanwhole Princess Lindsey proceeds with his planned assault on CO2 molecules.

Priorities.

happyfeet on March 23, 2010 at 9:15 PM

oh. *Meanwhile* I mean… the CO2 thing and a maybe some new pumps for that yellow chiffon number he picked up in Georgetown

happyfeet on March 23, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Oh my gosh is that really in there? It can’t be. Why would anyone go into the harder kinds of medicine if they didn’t get paid more? Surely this is a mistake.

petunia on March 23, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Last time I checked, the salary of all Canadian doctors was capped no mater what they worked on, or how much they worked. That’s why hey have doctor strikes and many healthcare professional moving to the US.
The reality is that the government will not have much choice but to cap salaries, ration care and force everyone to buy into the system, otherwise it will not be sustainable.

neuquenguy on March 23, 2010 at 9:24 PM

So what happens if you can’t find full time work with benefits for several years or ever once you’re terminated from a job? I’m not aware of any “gap” policy sold on the individual market that gives coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Let the free market create what the customer demands. I know there is no “gap” coverage now, but there could be. Medicaid won’t be going away anytime soon and can help those in need (preferrably by purchasing an insurance policy rather than being the insurer). I believe that the cost of health insurance would be a heck of a lot less without all of the coverage mandates, if the customer could assess his or her needs and purchase the policy that best suits them. The free market driven by the consumer is the way to go.

kringeesmom on March 23, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Cornyn, it is a sad day to see that you, as a RINO, are willing to fall back into the comfort zone of placating the Democrats. And after hearing some of the comments here, I think that many are still not willing to fight for something. It is so easy to compromise!!! Cornyn, please, go buy some tanning lotion and sit on the beach with Crist for the rest of your term!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mobydutch on March 23, 2010 at 9:45 PM

It seems at the end of the day Biden had the line of summit:

“You do support government involvement, the question is, how much?”

Chris_Balsz on March 23, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Republicans won’t repeal Obamacare and they won’t try. Game over.

David Blue on March 23, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Hey, great economic thinking Senator! Let’s keep the worst of the spending and drop the taxes which support the spending.

Real Men of Genius!

Jaibones on March 23, 2010 at 10:06 PM

This knucklehead, Cornyn, voted for both “stimuli” packages, along with KayB Hutchinson. Texans are not liking these two. House, or should I say Senate, cleaning time too.

Robert17 on March 23, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Texans, please, call Sen. Cornyn tomorrow. He is getting off on a limb, if he thinks he is representing us by his blabbering today. REPEAL. COMPLETE REPEAL. It is one thing to spend the weekend watching the government pass legislation against the will of the people, but then, to hear Cornyn start the milktoast leadership today is more than I can take.

mobydutch on March 23, 2010 at 10:29 PM

OK, I convinced myself with that explanation. You are right. They do eat their own just as much and for the same reasons but on the other had they also embrace the crazies as long as those crazies are against what they are. Conservatives just don’t do that and I think that my examples for Palin and birthers are valid.

RagTag on March 23, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Well, I think it depends on what you mean by embracing. I mean I don’t know a single credible Republican who even wants to be associated with birthers. It’s arguably hurt Hayworth.

Honestly, I know exactly what you mean in talking about Palin supporters, but that usually happens when you insult her, which makes it sound like you’re siding with the enemy.

And even with the anti-birthers, you’re talking about people who aren’t considering every conceivable method of ridding this country of Obama, thus siding with the enemy.

I mean, come on, the Left has Michael Moore and Global Warming complete with modern day indulgences. They definitely embrace the crazy if it benefits their side. It’s no coincidence that anti-war protesting and Truther BS has become almost dead these days.

They never full on embraced them, but that’s no different than how the GOP has never full on embraced birthers.

Anyway…. It’s been fun folks but I’m going to go buy pizza and watch Lost. Night all.

RagTag on March 23, 2010 at 8:40 PM

What’d you think of the episode? I was expecting a bit more of a revelation, but I like the whole free will God archetype versus the more Satanic – promises you whatever you want Man in Black.

I’m going to miss the show when it’s over, but I also can’t wait until it is.

Esthier on March 23, 2010 at 11:31 PM

So what happens if you can’t find full time work with benefits for several years or ever once you’re terminated from a job? I’m not aware of any “gap” policy sold on the individual market that gives coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM
Let the free market create what the customer demands. I know there is no “gap” coverage now, but there could be. Medicaid won’t be going away anytime soon and can help those in need (preferrably by purchasing an insurance policy rather than being the insurer). I believe that the cost of health insurance would be a heck of a lot less without all of the coverage mandates, if the customer could assess his or her needs and purchase the policy that best suits them. The free market driven by the consumer is the way to go.

kringeesmom on March 23, 2010 at 9:25 PM

–Several of my neighbors are in insurance and either own their agencies or manage an office for one of the larger nagtional companies. They both said that there was no good way to price “gap insurance” that didn’t exclude preexisting conditions because of adverse selection.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:34 PM

-I think they can charge up to 150% of a baseline amount depending on age, sex and one other element. I don’t remember anything about being able to charge more for pre-existing conditions.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM

So will this soon apply to life insurance as well?

happyfeet on March 23, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Sorry no one’s paying attention to you.

Esthier on March 23, 2010 at 11:38 PM

-

I think they can charge up to 150% of a baseline amount depending on age, sex and one other element. I don’t remember anything about being able to charge more for pre-existing conditions.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM
So will this soon apply to life insurance as well?

–Shouldn’t. It only applies to the healthcare bill.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:40 PM

They both said that there was no good way to price “gap insurance” that didn’t exclude preexisting conditions because of adverse selection.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:34 PM

That’s why tying it to your job is such a horrible idea in the first place. It’s always been illogical.

–Shouldn’t. It only applies to the healthcare bill.

Jimbo3 on March 23, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Don’t these things tend to set precedent? If they’ve managed to consider this law, is there something preventing it from applying to life insurance?

I’m honestly not sure I understand the difference. Both would be forcing a company to shell out more money than it’s expected to receive.

Also, do you have a link for the 150% thing? I haven’t read anything that spoke of actual rates and wasn’t sure how they might price control.

Any luck with the tanning issue? The way the weather’s been here lately, I imagine more people will be using tanning salons, but I also imagine more people will simply “prefer” being pale.

Assuming the weather isn’t keeping them in bed. I’m ready for summer, if even just because it’s a bit more consistent.

Esthier on March 24, 2010 at 12:07 AM

This is going to be like Roe vs. Wade. Republicans have run against it for generations, but all they want is money from poor people.

Republicans will claim they want to “reform” health care by getting rid of only the unpopular parts. That is impossible.

They will never allow that to be put to the test. No matter how many seats they will, they will claim they need more to pass real reform.

After all, the majorities they had when George W. Bush was re-elected weren’t enough to do anything about Social Security. They needed more, more! Every last dollar from the widow’s purse!

… to pass … McCain-Kennedy, so irresponsible rich folk could have access to more cheap labor. They never did move on the things they should have addressed.

David Blue on March 24, 2010 at 1:00 AM

Senator Cornyn,
Please show leadership! We need to repeal as much of this government take-over of healthcare as we can!

Mark Davis
Tulsa, OK

Mark7788 on March 24, 2010 at 2:08 AM

“There is non-controversial stuff here like the preexisting conditions exclusion and those sorts of things,”

If they can’t repeal this, they shouldn’t bother trying to repeal anything. This is the poison pill through which the Dems are planning to bankrupt the private insurance industry so that they can move to a single payer system.

Please tell me again, why it is vital that we must vote for anyone with an R by there name, no matter how bad they are?

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Repeal and start over.

Sxyrzrbck on March 24, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Don’t these things tend to set precedent? If they’ve managed to consider this law, is there something preventing it from applying to life insurance?

I’m honestly not sure I understand the difference. Both would be forcing a company to shell out more money than it’s expected to receive.

Also, do you have a link for the 150% thing? I haven’t read anything that spoke of actual rates and wasn’t sure how they might price control.

Any luck with the tanning issue? The way the weather’s been here lately, I imagine more people will be using tanning salons, but I also imagine more people will simply “prefer” being pale.

Assuming the weather isn’t keeping them in bed. I’m ready for summer, if even just because it’s a bit more consistent.

Esthier on March 24, 2010 at 12:07 AM

Esthier, here is the Kaiser Foundation summary of this part of the Senate bill. It actually was 3:1 for age and 1.5:1 for the other factors: http://www.kff.org/healthreform/sidebyside.cfm

Require guarantee issue and renewability and allow rating variation based only on age (limited to 3 to 1 ratio), premium rating area, family composition, and tobacco use (limited to 1.5. to 1 ratio) in the individual and the small group market and the Exchange.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Dammit!
I am officially a woman without a party.

MITX on March 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Cornyn has been part of the problem for a long time. Putting GOP money behind RINO candidates because he himself along with people like McCain and Grahmnesty. Rest assured we in Texas are looking for a good conservative to replace Cornyn with in 2012!

patriotparty1 on March 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Stooge Cornyn is doing great things for Tea Party enrollment. Right now, the Teas are looking pretty good.

james23 on March 24, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Cornyn is my Senator & I just heard about this & I am calling his office right now. He’s been walking a fine line the last year or so with some stupid statements and RINO-like tendencies. He used to be a conservative, or at least act like one, don’t know what has happened to him, guess he’s been in Washington too long.

Susanboo on March 24, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I just called Cornyn’s office. It took a long time to get through; so, I know he is being pummeled. (rightly so) However, when I started out on the call I said I was going to try to be nice about what I was going to say. Before I proceeded,the staffer said she knew why I had called. She said the MSM had come out with this and that the Senator was for a total REPEAL. So my friends at HA, this is what they are saying. Who Knows? Anyway, I think everyone should continue calling in case there is a slight chance of stupidity. HO hum………

mobydutch on March 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I sure hope the republicans can learn.Sadly Lindsey Graham is one of my senators but I won’t vote for him.I will never vote again for a RINO.The republicans seem to run for office with the message.Vote for us because we aren’t democrats.Never again

badpenny on March 24, 2010 at 3:24 PM

guess he’s been in Washington too long.

Susanboo on March 24, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Ding..Ding…Ding…We have a winner!!!

belad on March 24, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Start packing up your office Senator, somewhere in the party there is a Man or Woman with the brass for the job.

thmsmgnm on March 24, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Gutless SOB. Exactly the type that needs to be voted out in November. It is not restricted to either party.

ultracon on March 24, 2010 at 9:53 PM

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