House Dems whipping against ObamaCare fix

posted at 8:01 am on March 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan noted that the “fix it don’t nix it” messaging on ObamaCare from Alex Sink failed because it just reminded Republican voters why they needed to send their own message to Democrats. I argued in response that Sullivan was partly correct, but the basic problem with that strategy is that Democrats won’t offer any “fixes” either. They won’t touch the law they created, not even in the chamber where Democrats control the outcome and could write the legislation any way they want.

It didn’t take long to find proof of this point. The Hill reports that House Democratic leadership has begun whipping their caucus to oppose a bill  that would fix ObamaCare’s damage to Medicare — even though Republicans want the same kind of delay that the White House has been unilaterally imposing on everything else:

Democrats are furiously whipping their caucus against a Republican bill that would pay for a bipartisan Medicare fix by delaying ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

That’s a change: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) did not whip a similar Republican bill earlier this month to remove the penalty for not buying insurance in 2014. The bill passed the House and picked up 27 Democratic votes in the process.

But Democrats desperately need to circle their wagons around the healthcare law after a devastating setback in Florida this week, where their loss in a special election exacerbated worries that ObamaCare will sink the party in this year’s midterm elections.

Hoyer didn’t whip the earlier bill in the House, in large part because his Senate colleagues would have killed the bill anyway. That may not be the case now, after Sink’s surprising defeat in the FL-13 special election. Red-state Democrats who planned on using Sink’s “fix it don’t nix it” strategy just got an object lesson in how dangerous such a vote would be if forced to take it on a House bill that passes with significant number of Democratic votes. Democrats have no chance at taking back the House, and now they’re just playing defense on holding the Senate.

Democrats deny that the election had anything to do with this decision, of course. “We were always going to whip this bill,” one aide told Jonathan Easley, even though the earlier, similar bill passed with 27 Democrats voting in favor. It’s just a remarkable coincidence that the whipping effort took place after Democrats got whipped in an election they thought they had won. Trust them!

Nancy Pelosi attacked Republicans for demanding a delay in the individual mandate to pay for the “doc fix” compromise reached, an amendment from Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), who chairs Ways and Means. “Republicans should stop these reckless and destructive partisan tactics and work with Democrats,” Pelosi said — but Camp’s bill would do nothing that the top Democrat in the White House hasn’t done himself. Barack Obama has delayed the individual mandate for at least two more years, thanks to an expansion of the hardship exemption provisions that make it all but impossible to enforce.  The only difference here is that the delay would be legal, rather than an abuse of executive power.

This is why the Democratic strategy in 2014 is doomed to failure. They’ve continually lied about the impact of ObamaCare, from promising that people could keep their plans and doctors to lowered premiums to covering all of the uninsured. The “mend it don’t end it” messaging is just another shabby lie, only this one’s so threadbare and obvious that it’s going to anger rather than mollify.

In a related development, USA Today will publish an interview conducted by Web MD later today promoting the law he keeps attacking, at least in Pelosi’s view. The National Republican Congressional Committee has a microsite launching today called Political MD. The site allows you to deduce a diagnosis for Obama, Pelosi, or House Democrats by checking certain symptoms, such as “I keep losing special elections,” or “I keep lying to people about keeping their healthcare plan.” It’s an amusing fundraiser, and worth checking out.

Update: I got the name of the NRCC incorrect; I’ve fixed it above.


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“Republicans should stop these reckless and destructive partisan tactics and work with Democrats,” Pelosi said

This is the same person that locked republicans out of working on the bill to begin with?

Murphy9 on March 14, 2014 at 8:06 AM

This is why the Democratic strategy in 2014 is doomed to failure. They’ve continually lied about the impact of ObamaCare, from promising that people could keep their plans and doctors to lowered premiums to covering all of the uninsured. The “mend it don’t end it” messaging is just another shabby lie, only this one’s so threadbare and obvious that it’s going to anger rather than mollify.

It will be interesting to see when incumbent Dems who have been rabid defenders of Obamacare for years start peeling off and start charting their own course. For many I suspect they will be rats who, far too late, decide to abandon ship.

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2014 at 8:07 AM

This is the same person that locked republicans out of working on the bill to begin with?

Murphy9 on March 14, 2014 at 8:06 AM

And smugly told us that we had to pass the bill to see what the Dems had agreed to.

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2014 at 8:08 AM

They have all but lost the election. The might as well try to save Obamacare.

Bigbullets on March 14, 2014 at 8:09 AM

This is why the Democratic strategy in 2014 is doomed to failure.


Do not run with scissors
is one of the first lessons we all learn, er, are supposed to learn.

Murphy9 on March 14, 2014 at 8:14 AM

They must actually believe their own BS if they think people won’t notice that the “fixes” they keep talking about lack any sort of specifics.

Mord on March 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM

“Republicans should stop these reckless and destructive partisan tactics and work with Democrats,” Pelosi said

…you pull a string in her back…she says the same thing every time…she is “Chatty Nanny” …the Botox Doll!

KOOLAID2 on March 14, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Police in Oakland , CA spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, ‘Please come out and give yourself up.’

That’s what the Dems are doing. They’re trying to erase their grubby paw prints off of Obamacare by calling it the affordable care act and pretending that they have no responsibility for enacting Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2014 at 8:21 AM

They don’t want it fixed. It’s not broken. It’s doing exactly what it was designed to do.

If the GOP had testicle one among them, they’d be calling for criminal prosecutions instead of just repeal.

CurtZHP on March 14, 2014 at 8:26 AM

The “Mend it, Don’t End it” argument is too hard to sell when there have been 28 changes to the law already. Obamacare is like a piece of swiss cheese…with more holes than actual cheese.

monalisa on March 14, 2014 at 8:28 AM

In a related development, USA Today will publish an interview conducted by Web MD later today promoting the law he keeps attacking, at least in Pelosi’s view.

I’ve read this sentence 10 times and I still have no idea what it means…

It will be interesting to see when incumbent Dems who have been rabid defenders of Obamacare for years start peeling off and start charting their own course.

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Nah. They can’t change sides half a year out from an election. It’s too transparently dishonest and it gets them nothing anyway. Only the stupidest people would fall for it, and they already vote Dem…

PetecminMd on March 14, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Take pictures – plaster their faces all over the election campaign commercials America soon will be seeing….record their names – read them out at every Town Hall Meeting, during every debate…

Make sure America knows who is responsible for the most incredible lies ever told to American Citizens:
- It won’t cost a dime
- It will pay for itself
- It will REDUCE the deficit
- It will NOT cost people to lose their insurance
- If you like your insurance/doctor, you can KEEP your plan/doctor
- It will NOT cause eople to lose their jobs
- It will not create any new taxes (Tax ‘fine’, medical device tax…)
- It will apply to Congress

Show the video of these self-appointed tyrants and ‘masters’ – the Socialists who dictated this as policy on the American people while exempting themselves – all smiles, laughing, and chanting ‘Fix it don’t nix it’!

…THEN MAKE THEM PAY IN THE VOTING BOOTH!

easyt65 on March 14, 2014 at 8:37 AM

PPACA – ObamaCare – just one of the many Democrats #flawedlaws.

JoeHanson on March 14, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Don’t worry. The Geriatric Old Progressives have a plan to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. AGAIN

Brock Robamney on March 14, 2014 at 8:44 AM

The ‘Mend It, Don’t End It’/’Fix It, Don’t Nix It’ argument is nothing but a cynical ploy and CYA lie.

Name one single piece of significant legislation offered by the Democrats in the House or Senate or from the White House that has been seriously introduced to address the the problems with Obamacare.

You can’t.

Meanwhile, Obama and his fellow liars can complain to their LIV drones that Republicans ‘won’t work with them to fix Obamacare.’

Resist We Much on March 14, 2014 at 8:45 AM

If the GOP had testicle one among them, they’d be calling for criminal prosecutions instead of just repeal.

CurtZHP on March 14, 2014 at 8:26 AM

If only they were calling for repeal. Sure, they had a bunch of meaningless repeal votes but then had to have their arms twisted when there was a real chance of doing something about it. Now, they’re passing bills to fix it.

Is there any more proof needed that the GOP needs a thorough housecleaning?

Occams Stubble on March 14, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Holder is just looking out for his people.

Rule of law is sooo pre-Obama.

With lawlessness this rampant, let me reestablish my long position: Kliegs and Concertina wire.

Murphy9 on March 14, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Holder is just looking out for his people.

Rule of law is sooo pre-Obama.

With lawlessness this rampant, let me reestablish my long position: Kliegs and Concertina wire.

Murphy9 on March 14, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Wrong thread? :-)

Flora Duh on March 14, 2014 at 9:02 AM

If the Republicans had any Brains (yeah, i know)
they would no longer even try to play nice with
this woman….portray her for what she is,
a Deranged Nut.

ToddPA on March 14, 2014 at 9:09 AM

The ultimate goal is single payer, socialized medicine.

Thus, the more broken Obamacare turns out to be, there will be only one “sensible” solution…government takeover of all health care. Regardless of the outcome. Thus, the more bollixed up this travesty becomes, the better.

And, of course, any opponents to single-payer simply are racist, hate the children and are deep in the pockets of those evil insurance companies.

coldwarrior on March 14, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Keep none of it. Use it as the albotraus around their necks. Rid the land of all the pain they have by themselves created.

“fix it don’t nix it”

Must read

“nix it don’t fix it!”

Bmore on March 14, 2014 at 9:18 AM

The whole thing is preposterous.

Who is going to “fix” it? The same people who thought it was a great idea in the first place? The thing which needs fixing is the fulcrum of the whole thing – that young people and the middle class will pay outrageous rates to support the poor, sick and elderly. You cannot “fix” that without destroying the entire law.

As usual, the “fix it” mantra is more meaningless “sounds good, means nothing” pablum from the left.

Sure it polls well – “Should we repeal Obamacare or simply ‘fix’ it?” People say yeah sure, fix it, but there is NO mention in the poll of what this “magical fix” would entail.

I get so sick of the empty sloganeering from the Democrats. “Hope & Change!” actually got a communist with no leadership experience elected POTUS twice. Incredible. How did this nation become so great when so many of its citizens are so damned gullible?

mitchellvii on March 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Will lose my policy 3/31 without paying any deductibles and now I will pay 500 plus with a 3000 deductible. Talk about hate coming from me towards these crooks is beyond the limit. I wish the demos had to live by their own talk. Nancy paying their help a decent wage plus using Obama care as well. How does she expect the Gop to work with her, don’t they already ??

garydt on March 14, 2014 at 9:51 AM

1m
President Obama says enough people have already signed up for Obamacare that he is ‘confident’ his signature legislative accomplishment will function properly – @WebMD
read more on webmd.com

Murphy9 on March 14, 2014 at 9:53 AM

The National Republican Campaign Committee has a microsite launching today called Political MD…It’s an amusing fundraiser, and worth checking out.

As amusing as the site may be I am no longer giving to purely Republican orgs since they tend to turn around and give my money to RINOs.

trapeze on March 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM

“Republicans should stop these reckless and destructive partisan tactics and work with Democrats,” Pelosi said

So says the woman who wanted no input from Republicans on her signature POS legislation.

GarandFan on March 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Keep’ em coming GOP house. We have 7 months to torture them with their own law.

DanMan on March 14, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Why should lying all of a sudden doom democrats to failure?

GaltBlvnAtty on March 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM

It will be interesting to see when incumbent Dems who have been rabid defenders of Obamacare for years start peeling off…

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I’m not holding my breath.

They have already taken two desperate actions to indemnify themselves in the near term: Obama’s delay of the corporate mandate and the bailout program for insurance companies.

More to follow as needed, I’m sure…

Tsar of Earth on March 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM

If the GOP had testicle one among them, they’d be calling for criminal prosecutions instead of just repeal.

CurtZHP on March 14, 2014 at 8:26 AM

If only they were calling for repeal. Sure, they had a bunch of meaningless repeal votes but then had to have their arms twisted when there was a real chance of doing something about it. Now, they’re passing bills to fix it.

Is there any more proof needed that the GOP needs a thorough housecleaning?

Occams Stubble on March 14, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Exactly. Why oh why are Republications even offering to “fix” this? If there’s any proof this current crop won’t abide by their electorate, even if given the chance, look no further than these foolish offers to help Democrats sidestep their own mess.

The answer lies not in such “fixes.” Don’t offer to ease Democrat pain in November, which is effectively what this does. There’s only one reasonable “fix” to put forth:

REPEAL

Lolo on March 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Rules for Radical #4 “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

Rules for Radicals #8 “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

The house should pass legislation on every change Obama has made. There’s been 28 or so thus far hasn’t there? I’m no Jethro Bodine by my ciphering says that about one/week until election day. Get crackin’ Boehner!

DanMan on March 14, 2014 at 12:02 PM

They must actually believe their own BS if they think people won’t notice that the “fixes” they keep talking about lack any sort of specifics.

Mord on March 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM

No, people won’t, have you seen the polls? Fully 40% of Americans SUPPORT Obamacare. Is it any wonder that’s why they just keep repeating the same lies? It’s WORKING.

Tell me this:

If you’re a poor person (bonus points if you’re sick and/or minority), and you’re also a LOFO, you have two ‘opinions’ being presented to you by the media:

1) Let’s fix healthcare!
2) We need to END healthcare!

Which one do you vote for?

And no, don’t tell me I’m missing the point, or I’m not taking into account X, Y, and Z. Know why? Because those people I mentioned above aren’t either.

nullrouted on March 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM