Boehner: ObamaCare is the law of the land

posted at 8:51 am on November 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

John Boehner has a tough job over the next few weeks — and two years — walking a tightrope between getting acute problems solved while maintaining his credibility with the activist Republican base.  He has the fiscal cliff to resolve without caving on tax increases, investigations to pursue, and more budget negotiations that will at some point require serious entitlement reform.  With all of that on his plate, Boehner doesn’t have much time for fantasy, especially the fantasy that ObamaCare can be repealed.  Boehner told ABC News that the ACA is now “the law of the land,” but that he wants to address parts of it within the context of budget negotiations:

Asked whether he will make another attempt to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, Boehner said “the election changes that” and “Obamacare is the law of the land.”

Still, there are some parts of the law, he said, that should be on the table as lawmakers work toward a balanced budget.

My friend at Poor Richard’s News is outraged:

Did Democrats roll over and compromise their principles when George W. Bush won re-election?  No, they did not.  They dug in, they hardened their opposition, and they cleaned our clocks in the last two Presidential elections.  Now is not the time to go all mushy.  Now is is the time to fight harder than ever.

Now, I understand that Bohner’s position may be a tactical one.  Practically speaking, with a re-elected Obama and a Democrat majority still in the Senate, a bill to repeal would get no where.  However, that doesn’t mean that every House and Senate Republican’s goal shouldn’t be to pull this weed up from its roots.  Bohner must clarify his position.  This election was not a mandate to keep Obamacare, and if he expects to be the leader of the House Republicans, he needs to be the leading voice of opposition to it. It doesn’t matter how it happens, a single bill or a chipping away at it gradually.  Obamacare must go.

This isn’t a tactical decision.  It’s reality.  The ACA is not a static law; most of its provisions will go into effect in the next two years, and after that repeal will be immensely difficult, thanks to its transformational nature in relation to the insurance and health-provider industries.  It’s going to be too late to “pull this weed up by its roots” by 2017, the next possible spot on the calendar to do so.  By then, we will have to offer a second round of transformation that starts in the context of ObamaCare., and hope we have a Republican President and Republican majorities to even get that process under way.

We had only two ways to stop ObamaCare.  Either we needed a new President with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, or veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of Congress.  Voters didn’t provide John Boehner with either option.  When we say that elections have consequences, this is exactly what we mean.

Back to the tightrope.  Boehner did draw a line in the sand on tax rates, while leaving open the possibility of increasing revenues through tax reform — which has been the Republican position for almost two years:

 “Raising tax rates is unacceptable,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in his first broadcast interview since the election Tuesday.

“Frankly, it couldn’t even pass the House. I’m not sure it could pass the Senate.”

That stance could set up a real showdown with the White House given that the president has said he would veto any deal that does not allow tax cuts for the rich to expire. But the speaker said that Republicans would put new tax revenue on the table as leaders work toward a deal.

If I had to guess, both Boehner and Obama will want to go back to the deal that Obama rejected in August 2011, which would still work, and would have fewer political consequences in the wake of the election.  That could get done quickly and would go a long way to bolstering investor confidence that the next four years will be a little more responsible in Washington than the last eighteen months.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

Why is Boehner still in office? Why hasn’t he resigned after the shameful defeat?

promachus on November 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Because he was re-elected to the House of Representatives where he serves as Speaker.

Maybe that or something..

Joseph Russo III on November 10, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Why is Boehner still in office? Why hasn’t he resigned after the shameful defeat?

You mean he’s not the speaker of the house anymore, and he’s still speaking? The zero does not represent me, but he is still my president…ugh..

Common sense would tell one that even with a majority of congress, anything passed would not get by the senate, let alone be signed by the zero. Unless it was “progressive”, and bias be damned.

rocker98 on November 10, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Isn’t it nice that the “law of the land” is not going to affect you and your cronies one little bit, Mr. Go Along to get along. You will continue to have your Cadillac healthcare plans unlike the little people that the “law” you made affects, which in and of itself is against the Constitution. You are to make no laws that don’t apply to yourself. You are worthless, Mr. Nobody, and I hate your guts more than ever.

theaddora on November 10, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Just wanted to chime in here with some great wisdom from Schadenfreude on election night:

Rove is optimistic. He knows his counties and localities like only Barone does.

Schadenfreude on November 6, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I’ve got a million of ‘em. I keep ‘em on a roll in the bathroom.

inklake on November 10, 2012 at 7:42 AM

I’ve got a million of ‘em. I keep ‘em on a roll in the bathroom.

inklake on November 10, 2012 at 7:42 AM

The insane ramblings that comprise your crappy blog are indicative of an unwell mind.

tom daschle concerned on November 10, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Think about it.

I mean, seriously, think about it.

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-11-09/obama-wants-drive-over-cliff

Republicans really need to be smart about this; strategizing with an eye toward mid-terms is the smartest way to go here.

Sen. Mitch McConnell–who has even fewer people to lead in the Senate these days–seems to be in denial about that fact, and to think that he has some sort of leverage. He says there will be NO TAX INCREASES.

He’s mistaken. And, I’m sorry to say, he looks mighty impotent issuing such declaratives, when in fact, he doesn’t have a damn thing to say about it.

Obama WANTS to go over the fiscal cliff. It is the best thing that could happen to him. So, THINK VERY CAREFULLY about what the GOP needs to do here.

Digging in your heels, ala McConnell and Grover, is a big mistake, in my view. The GOP should publicly acknowledge, as Boehner has done on ObamaCare, that they have little power to prevail; do the best they can to negotiate but in the end, recognize, and publicly acknowledge that the tax increase on the rich is Obama’s policy, and the GOP opposes it for this reason, that reason etc., but that in the end, “elections have consequences” and Obama won the election so he gets to raise taxes on the rich.

Then step aside and let him do it; let the people who chose Obama experience the consequences of their choice. We’re going into a recession; the GOP should let the public tie Obama’s tax increase to the recession.

If the GOP continues to dig in their heels and fight, they’ll rightly be blamed when we go over the fiscal cliff.

Don’t be stupid, conservatives. Live to fight another day. SUN TSU strategy.

mountainaires on November 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I say bring on the fiscal cliff and let the riots begin in the cities after the moochers entitlements are cut off. The sooner the better. The best thing the GOP could do is let it happen with a little help from cutting off funding for programs and departments. They have 100% control over spending and they’ve done nothing to slow it down.

cajunpatriot on November 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

cajunpatriot on November 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Then everything will be blamed on Republican obstruction. We’re in check and in trouble at the moment. Some are saying the best course is to vote present, and let the Dims take full credit for everything. Personally, the only thing I’ve decided to do is not spend anything for the next six months. If all of us that voted Republican took that course we would be that much closer to a reality based system again.

claudius on November 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

And the weeper of the house will cave on the debt ceiling….. as usual….. what a piss poor leader.

ultracon on November 10, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Boehner is just another molded hair repub: like George Allen here in Virginia who lost to…to…Tim Kaine???

We just don’t need these bums anymore.

Beware the News Anchor look, folks!

Sherman1864 on November 11, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Boehner is a coward. Pure and simple.

Cylor on November 11, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Boehner should have a tough next few years … but not as speaker of the house.

He was practically silent throughout the election campaign and he does nothing except radiate weakness, when the party actually has power.

If he will not use this power, let someone else do it.

virgo on November 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Boehner needs to have his non functioning cajones kicked back to Ohio and we need to elect a speaker of the house that actually cares about this country and not about staying in power. He is the biggest embarrassment to the GOP since Bob Dole and John McCain. Why does the GOP continue to tolerate these losers in leadership roles. Are there no other “Men” in the house? If not, get some women to do the job!
Laura Engram

flytier on November 11, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Laura Ingramham

flytier on November 11, 2012 at 2:33 PM

{Sorry, apparently the enter button on my key board is sticking)

Boehner needs to have his non functioning cajones kicked back to Ohio and we need to elect a speaker of the house that actually cares about this country and not about staying in power. He is the biggest embarrassment to the GOP since Bob Dole and John McCain. Why does the GOP continue to tolerate these losers in leadership roles. Are there no other “Men” in the house? If not, get some women to do the job!
Laura Ingraham was right, if the GOP couldn’t beat this embarrassment of a President, they need to at the least reorganize and at the best disband and we can get a party that can

flytier on November 11, 2012 at 2:32 PM

flytier on November 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Then everything will be blamed on Republican obstruction.

claudius on November 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

It will blamed on Republicans anyway, no matter what happens. Boner agreed to the conditions that set up the cliff so simply say he will live by the agreement that was already made. Then let the loony left rave all they like.

Zer0 and his minions can’t afford to go over the cliff. Let them go. Let them rave, but remind them, at every turn, that’s the deal they agreed to.

Quartermaster on November 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6