New Republican unity in fight against ObamaCare?
posted at 8:01 am on October 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Earlier this month, I wrote that the disunity over the ObamaCare fight among Republicans and the nasty internecine name-calling was ironic, since opposition to ObamaCare is one point that actually unites the GOP. According to The Hill, the Republican-conservative coalition has begun to remember that point, and has started to mend fences in order to move forward more deliberately in the wake of the program’s meltdown:
Conservative groups are shifting their approach to fighting ObamaCare.
Powerful grassroots organizations appear ready to back House GOP leadership on “targeted strikes” to weaken the law, a strategy they criticized as insufficiently aggressive in the months before the government closed.
They hope that piecemeal votes against ObamaCare will put points on the board and magnify Democratic divisions ahead of next year’s midterm elections. …
“I think everyone is taking a step back, to be honest,” said FreedomWorks Executive Vice President Adam Brandon, who frequently talks with other major groups like Heritage Action.
“Everyone is in communication, and we’re just asking: What is the best way to accomplish our ultimate goal? There’s no daylight between us on repealing the law, but tactics and strategy are important.”
That’s a considerable reversal for FreedomWorks, whose messaging during and immediately after the shutdown claimed that anyone opposed to their defunding strategy would own ObamaCare. It’s also a welcome shift, and one that Heritage Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund should emulate. We aren’t going to repeal ObamaCare by attacking other Republicans in the next election cycle, after all, and at least on this issue we all have the same purpose, even if we disagree on tactics and strategy.
CBS warns conservatives and Republicans about overplaying a very good hand this week as the House begins to grill Kathleen Sebelius and her HHS management over the Healthcare.gov debacle and massive cancellations:
When House Republicans return to Washington Tuesday, they will get their first crack at questioning high-level members of the administration about the troubled rollout of the HealthCare.gov site. For years, the GOP has been making hay over the perceived shortcomings of the health care law, and now a major problem – one of operations, not politics – has fallen into their laps.
Now comes the challenge: can they proceed with a light touch and not overplay their hand?
The party arguably wasted two weeks – and in the process, lost plenty of points off their approval rating – by shutting down the government to seek a delay or defunding of Obamacare. Had they not gone down that path, all eyes likely would have been on the flaws of the enrollment system rather than the 16-day shutdown.
“Republicans, led by [Texas Sen. Ted] Cruz, pursued the shutdown strategy and that overwhelms the storyline,” said GOP consultant John Feehery. “Hopefully the further we get away from it the more of the facts can come out.”
They have to make this all about the law, and make it a battle of ideas and policy, not a battle of politics. How they drive this is to not make it about the politicians but make this about people who are really hurt by Obamacare,” Feehery said.
Normally I’d call that concern-trolling, but CBS has done a very good job highlighting all of the problems of ObamaCare the last few weeks — and not just on the website, either. Some of this will be about personnel, since the inept management at HHS managed to screw up the one part of ObamaCare no one predicted would fail, the web portal. Otherwise, though, Rebecca Kaplan is correct. Republicans need to focus their hearings on the law and how it has arbitrarily damaged the insurance industry, raised costs, eliminated plans for millions of Americans, and how the “cost curve” will only keep spiking upward as a result of the law itself, and not just from incompetence and mendacity.
If we want a point on which not just Republicans but Americans can unite, how about the serial dishonesty from the White House on ObamaCare? The NRCC translates Jay Carney’s responses to the ObamaCare meltdown in this humorous new video, with Hot Air readers given the first look: