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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 28, 2012. Boehner voiced optimism that Republicans could broker a deal with the White House to avoid year-end austerity measures, saying on Wedn
This governing stuff is hard.
This is just getting pathetic. Republican leadership knows full well that trying to defund Obamacare by refusing to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government in September is both futile—Obamacare funding would continue anyway—and political suicide. But killing Obamacare is their entire reason for being, not just a promise to their base but also to the not-so-bright-lights in the teabagger bloc. So to keep the crazies on board and defuse the government shutdown talk, leadership is dangling another hostage: the debt ceiling.
House leadership firmly believes that attaching anything "new" to a continuing resolution is politically untenable, while passing a higher debt limit, without attaching anything new, is also politically impossible. Hence the House leadership's desire to fight ObamaCare through the debt limit, but not the CR.

The plan is to pass a 60-day CR extension that keeps discretionary spending at the existing sequestration levels. Then House leadership wants to combine Democratic desires to roll-back sequestration with conservative desires to delay/defund ObamaCare into the debt limit fight.

In other words, they'll talk about restoring pre-sequestration spending levels—and allow a debt ceiling increase—if Democrats will kill Obamacare. There are several problems with this calculation. First, defaulting on the debt might not create the same level of direct political ire against Republicans as shutting down government, but it could create long-term economic crises that scares the pants off analysts. Blowing up the entire economy turns out to be kind of a big deal.

Second, President Obama has stated repeatedly and forcefully that there will be no more negotiations on the debt ceiling. Period. Of course, Republicans have plenty of precedent to doubt that assertion from Obama, which is undoubtedly why they're sweetening the deal with the possibility of rolling back the sequester cuts. Even so, that's ignoring the third problem with their plan: The exchanges will have already kicked in on Oct. 1, before the debt ceiling needs to be raised. They'll be trying to undo an already done deal. Even if that could be done, Republicans would then be responsible for ending the subsidy all those people who've signed up on the exchange. Not even no help from the feds to pay their insurance, no insurance.

This is the new master plan, apparently, to string everyone along with the fiction of killing Obamacare for just a little bit longer. At some point, Republican "leadership" is going to have to come clean with the rank-and-file and with their base. They can't kill Obamacare. They're going to have to come up with some other reason for being. It's not going to be pretty.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 08:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (44+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 08:35:49 AM PDT

  •  We already had this argument with (12+ / 0-)

    The Republicans.  They lost.  Anybody remember all those economists and Wall Street types yowling about destroying the global economy if they don't raise the debt ceiling?  Of course the Democrats lost this argument, too, by agreeing to the sequester.  Maybe well get a better negotiator this time?

    •  The sequester is not a great sell for Dems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd argue it's actually a loser.

      Since the sequester started, not much of consequence has happened. Federal agencies found ways to save money, implemented them, and life goes on. The economy hasn't imploded as was predicted by opponents.

      So, I think that getting rid of the sequester is a political loser. It's a good way to throw red meat to the Democratic base, but I suspect that independents are neutral to slightly supportive of the sequester. Hardly a hill you want to die on.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:45:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would Not Cite A Reason.Com Piece (6+ / 0-)

        on a progressive blog as evidence. They are to reason what Fox news is to fair and balanced.

      •  The Reason why... (3+ / 0-) because we don't see the damage being done to those without power. "Not much of consequence"... please!

        Economically, we are in a drought for high tech jobs in the defense industry. No one is hiring because the funding is scarce on existing programs or unstable on new ones. And it's not just defense that is feeling the pain. Local regions that have these industries are being impacted as well. If people are losing jobs it affects the local economy and so on down the line. The money that was being spent by the U.S. Government didn't just go into some large bank account. Or did you think no one was earning a salary on much of that? Dry that funding line to a trickle and you have a lot of hungry families hurting to find some employment.

        Research, is now being hit by the sequester as long term projects are finding they have to cut back severely. You can't just change the rules on a research project mid-stream and expect it not to impact your results. We are losing on scientific advancement which is the engine for the next economic engine of our country. How do you not call that a "consequence"?

        And the broadest damage is being reported almost daily as the poor are losing more and more of their safety net. When you don't have much money to spend you need assistance to make it through the month, or week, or even day. Programs are being cut drastically causing some of the poor to be cut off from services that kept them going. You might as well take out a spark plug out of your car and expect it to still be workable to get you back and forth to work. This is the shoe-string these people are living on! But of course they are not as loud as wealthy Wall Streeters that don't want to wait in line at the airport.

        Ending the sequester is going to happen. But having it happen over a barrel with Conservatives crowing about it before the election isn't going to happen I am fairly sure. We need to get this repealed on it's own merits and NOW!

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 01:21:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A better negotiator is an interesting idea. (0+ / 0-)

      I propose Joe Biden.  I think he would be a far better negotiator on this issue than President Obama.

    •  Obama should not negotiate this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He gets rolled every time.

      There are those of us that will dump the Dems if he caves again.

       Actually I have dumped the wimpy Dems.  

      They (Dems) will have a lot to do to get my vote back.

      Sarcasm on...It is so nice I live in a post racial America...Sarcasm off.

      by wbishop3 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 11:10:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I still generally vote Dem.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....but oft-times as the lesser of 2 evils.  Another Obama rollover could easily change that.

        See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

        by Panama Pete on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:24:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are enough sane Republicans left (7+ / 0-)

    including the speaker himself, that will not allow the government to default. It's an empty threat that serves no purpose other than ginning up the base a head of the midterms.

    •  I think that it is as much an issue of money (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      micsimov, shoeless, divineorder, satrap

      as sanity.  

      The sequester deal was reached in 2011 because Wall Street (the Republicans' financier) was panicking and told the Republican leadership to do something about the situation.  

      I agree that a default is unlikely, but think that it is as much an issue of campaign financing as concern for the world economy.

      •  But notice the CU is for sixty days, and all this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vigilant meerkat

        does is push the brawl until after the November elections, admittedly not the midterm, but something. It would be one thing to makea deal that put all of this behind us, but that's not what they're talking about. We give up what we want and they give themselves the chance to come back for another bite in sixty days, and then another and another.

    •  yeah, my optimistic take is that (0+ / 0-)

      they backed down from a confrontation on this earlier in the year, raising(or suspending) the debt ceiling, and I think they will again.

      Sure, Dems are in a weaker position now than they were then, but I dont think the GOP is stronger than they are now, and they certainly arent as strong as they were in 2011, coming off the midterm victory.

      My guess is there will be some ridiculousness involved with this(the GOP will be allowed to disapprove a debt ceiling hike or something like that),  but it will still be raised.

    •  Last time, they kept the sequester people said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Panama Pete

      they'd never do that. That was after people said they'd never default, but they did. This time IS NO DIFFERENT.

      Why anyone believes they'd negotiate in good faith is unfathomable. The only option is to freeze them out completely until they cave. Give them nothing of value. This is just more fodder for a surprise Dem House takeover in the 2014 election, the Repigs are hanging themselves with their own rope. All we have to do is toss them an anvil. The only reasons the GOP House takes these loser positions is they are intoxicated with their own bluster and haven't a clue how much they are alienating the country. Yes, they have a gerrymandered advantage, but they have deluded themselves into thinking they can do anything they want as a result of their advantage which will not last and will come crushing down on them. Toss them a freezing hot anvil.

  •  Why take an insignifant hostage when there (7+ / 0-)

    is a much more important one available?  

    Shutting down the government is small potatoes compared to the economic disaster that would result from the U.S. defaulting on its debt.  At the very least, our credit rating would plummet, and interest rates would skyrocket.  The stock market would crash, the cost of servicing our debt would soar, and we would probably have a deep recession.

    At the worst, our currency and all bonds issued by the federal government would lose all value.  Everyone's savings would be wiped out.

    These consequences are why I don't agree with the statement, "defaulting on the debt might not create the same level of direct political ire against Republicans as shutting down government".  The threat of defaulting might not create the same amount of political ire, but the reality would probably be the end of the Republicans as a major political party.

    •  If it ends Republicans (4+ / 0-)

      Maybe a default is worth it.

      •  The way things are now, only incorrect, stupid (10+ / 0-)

        shit gets done.

        It's like the preferred way to stop a car now is to remove the brakes and steer into a tree.

        I am just stunned at the focus on doing every last thing as wrongly as possible.

      •  The US would take a looong time to recover (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        never forget

        And even money the Repubs are just replaced by something worse.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:47:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've been thinking the same thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Capitalist

        The United States needs to experience a conceptual government verison of "9/11," and I don't use that term lightly, to fully reveal just how malignant, damaging, and destructive the GOP has become.

        Letting the GOP rot fester by band-aiding their disasters with silly events like the sequester simply hides the rot and allows the disease to grow.

        The American people need to see that the Republican Party is no longer a functioning element of American democracy and of the concept of government.  

        Putting band-aids on something that needs to be cut out does not heal anything.  

        Maybe we need a real "shock doctrine" moment to expose what a disgrace to the concept of America they really are.  

        •  And I thought we already saw this... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybersaur, WinSmith

 the original sequester. But I am amazed at how blind Americans have become to the poor.

          The Sequester SHOULD have been made to hit Congress as it has everyone else.

          "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

          by Wynter on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 01:26:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's a tough call for me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think it would clearly end the Republican party as anything other than a niche party if the effect was catastrophic and millions of people lost their life savings, pensions and jobs.  Even the 1% would be hurt as businesses collapsed and their investments lost their value.

        If the effect was costly but more minor and short lived, it might not be the end for the Republicans.

        I think the Republicans will likely lose their power eventually due to demographics.  That makes less keen on wishing for a catastrophe to destroy them.  

        They are so damaging to the country, however, that I can see the other side of the argument.

    •  They came very very close to default before (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      never forget, doinaheckuvanutjob

      in 2011. They were willing to go right up to the last minute. It was serious enough to have S&P downgrade U.S. government debt.

      It was a ridiculous stunt, since the Congress was refusing to grant authority to borrow in order to fund spending they had already authorized.

      Failing to meet the deadline for raising the debt ceiling would possibly not be catastrophic, since that would almost certainly be temporary, but there is no doubt it wouldn't be a good thing, and would at the very least inject a lot of uncertainty into the financial markets.

      •  Also, flatly unconstitutional (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        never forget, Wynter
        Amendment 14

        [...] The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, [...] shall not be questioned.

        The federal government could shut down if it can't issue new debt, but it cannot default on existing debt.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:04:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama W.H. needs to hire a hostage negotiator (4+ / 0-)

      "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:58:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, one thing the debt ceiling route would do is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      never forget, doinaheckuvanutjob

      fry all of the 1% types, and all private pensons, those investments Rs have been pushing in preference to Social Security. And THOSE guys are not forgiving. Especially as Cantor and some others have been advertising in advance that they were not fighting much this summer because they were putting their chips and the lives of most Americans on this planned brawl over budget and debt limit, a calculated plan for a very long and well advertised time.

  •  They know Obama would have allowed shutdown... (7+ / 0-)

    because the pain would have been temporary, but figure in the end he'd have to do the prudent thing and cave rather than allowing a debt default.  Play crazy and make Pres Obama believe they'll really do it, and he'd have no choice.  

    But I think this plan is even less likely to work than the shutdown one as Obamacare is an existing law, passed by House, Senate, signed by the President and even passed a challenge in the Supreme Court.  I can't believe they'll e able to win the frame war when they're taking the American and World economy hostage to try and force a change they cannot get legislatively through the proper channels.  

    Dems will have to make all GOP House Reps own it - don't allow the non-crazies to pass it off saying "it's the tea party members forcing this".  Have Pelosi create and publicize a discharge petition that would have all of the Dems signed off on a clean raise and point out saying it would only need 20 GOP Rep signatures to force a floor vote on a clean raise - something that had happened every time before 2011.   This would put the onus on all GOP House reps - they'd all own the tea party plan.

    How would the Chamber of Commerce react to this?  Do they want to see a economic meltdown caused because the GOP?  The economy is slowly coming back and all this hostage taking talk will do nothing but damage it, let alone if they actually went through with it.  

    Pelosi gets that discharge petition up right away, with all Dem signatures and it would be a shot across the bow of Boehner, because if 20 GOP got fed up and signed it, it would effectively end his Speakership as it would be hugely embarassing to him.  But I have to believe there are 20 Republican Reps who are fed up with this kind of stuff, from purple or blue districts or are big spending corporatists who were in office long before this teabagger craze that would sign the discharge petition rather than allowing their caucus to destroy the American economy.

    If you're not talking about what billionaire hedgefund bankster Peter G. Peterson is up to you're having the wrong conversations.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 08:55:50 AM PDT

  •  Boehner.....all the creativity of a pet rock. (4+ / 0-)
  •  so maybe this time the Dems will offer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a bigger sequester . . . ?

  •  What's troubling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to me is this. And somebody help me out here.

    Isn't it a big deal that the dollar is the world's reserve currency? And if the world decided to go with, say the yen, that it wouldn't be good for us? With the whole NSA thing and the stupid asshole republicans playing their kiddie games, do you think this will happen.

    PS. I'm only bringing up the NSA thing because I believe the rest of the civilized world is down on us over it. Maybe between it and the stupid asses running the congress it may give them an excuse?....

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:34:00 AM PDT

    •  GOP does not care about the views of the rest of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the world, anymore than they care that one of the revealed problems of the current recovery is that sales re not picking up because the millions of US purchasers they had taken for granted are now in such financial risk that they have stopped buying. Anything.

    •  Supposedly the Euro was going to replace the (0+ / 0-)

      dollar as world currency, but that's happened some but not anywhere close to the point previously predicted. That's partly due to the Euro's problems, but also due to the stronger dollar since GWB left. I'm not too concerned about that. And not concerned over the NSA because there was very little damage, every country spies on each other and everybody knows it. The 'damage' is greatly overstated. I'm more concerned about the NSA being in some R's hands, denying our civil liberties. Then consider how extremely bad world relations were with nearly all countries during GWB's reign, the current admin is viewed as a million times better by nearly every country. I don't think any of the things you mentioned are much of a problem.

  •  GOP congressmen exhibit the type of logic (5+ / 0-)

    that causes parents to refuse crucial medical treatment for their children for religious reasons. The Republican politicians ought to be sued for gross negligence.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:38:01 AM PDT

    •  Yes, many of them are willing to destroy the U.S. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro, cybersaur

      to maintain their orthodoxy.  

      I have no patience for religious fanatics who deny their children medical care.  A personal story regarding this:  I worked in a hospital bloodbank for three years, and was told by a coworker about a patient who was a Jehova's Witness (this was before I was employed there, I don't want the NSA referring me to law enforcement).  

      In order to save her life, she was given 16 units of blood.  She was unaware of this, and after she was released was on a radio show claiming that God had saved her.  A hospital employee called in anonymously and informed her that it was the 16 units of blood that she received that saved her, not God.

      I don't really care if religious nuts want to commit suicide by refusing medical care.  Refusing care for their children, who are powerless to make their own decisions, is monstrous.

  •  They got nuthin. But they seem willing to go out (6+ / 0-)

    with guns blazing.  Literally I fear.

  •  How about winning actual elections? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Does the concept of convincing the Teabagger base that they can do more by winning actual elections not even exist anymore?

    Or has hostage taking replaced the actual concept of democracy in the frothing mouth breathers who dominate the GOP?

    Don't answer that.  I already know the answer.

    Sadly, the bobbleheads in the "mainstream" news media never point out that one of the two major political parties has abandoned democracy in favor of destroying the institutions of government.

  •  If I'm not mistaken, rich Republicans own (5+ / 0-)

    lots of treasury bills. I know Republicans in Congress don't give a rat's ass about the rest of us, but think of the poor 1% for Christ sake.

    The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

    by shoeless on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:47:05 AM PDT

    •  And... (0+ / 0-)

      That's why there won't be a default.

      It might come down to the wire, but you can bet that the GOP asshats will be getting lots of phone calls from the uber-rich 1%ters that finance their campaigns to shut the F up and raise the debt ceiling.

      Just protecting, as always, their own interests.

  •  If Congress insists on being so unholy broken, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    maybe it's best they keep taking extended vacations?  I vote those unpaid.
    All in favor say aye!   ( and the quiet hum of * crickets * follows, as usual ..... )

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:49:04 AM PDT

  •  Children having a temper trantrum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    threatening to hold their breath until the country turns blue.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:49:39 AM PDT

  •  Not gonna happen (0+ / 0-)

    They overplayed that hand last time. Not gonna happen again.

    By the way, anyone else have to log in every day? That just started happening.

  •  All the "debt ceiling" is (0+ / 0-)

    is a delayed government shutdown anyway.

    THU DEC 27, 2012
    There will be no default on the national debt
    By Simplify

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:56:28 AM PDT

  •  Stupid strategy. ACA might be slowly killing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    itself  anyway at the rate the administration is granting waivers and extensions.

    Just let it go a long its merry way and and make it a campaign issue.

    Least dangerous course.  If it goes badly, you are in good position to complain in the campaign.  If it goes well, you aren't stuck on the wrong side.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:59:02 AM PDT

    •  Agree, Obama's already delaying so much of ACA (0+ / 0-)

      There won't be much left to roll out on Jan 1, 2014.

      Some of the ACA components he can still chop off by delaying implementation:

      Individual Mandate

      Presumptive Eligibility for Medicaid

      Medicaid Expansion

      Health Insurance Premium and Cost Sharing Subsidies

      Guaranteed Availability of Insurance

      Requires guarantee issue and renewability of health insurance regardless of health status and allows rating variation based only on age (limited to a 3 to 1 ratio), geographic area, family composition, and tobacco use (limited to 1.5. to 1 ratio) in the individual and the small group market and the Exchanges.

      No Annual Limits On Coverage

      Essential Health Benefits

      Multi-State Health Plans

      Temporary Re-Insurance Program for Plans

      Basic Health Plan

      Medicare Advantage Plan Loss Ratios

      Wellness Programs in Insurance

      Fees On Health Insurance Sector

      Medicare Payments for Hospital Acquired Infections


      I've bolded the ones I think are most likely to get thrown under the bus by the WH (in the form of delaying impementation) in order to bargain with the GOP.

      The question we have to ask ourselves is this:  Other than the individual mandate, most average tea party voters wouldn't care about the other provisions.  Yet the WH has already delayed 2 key provisions, knowing full well they will end up costing a lot of money.

      As part of a bargaining process with the GOP, how, specifically do these "delays" offered by the WH help the GOP?  I already know the answer, but I'm throwing it out there as a way to focus on exactly what kind of benefits both parties are getting from this process.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why would he bargain at all? (0+ / 0-)

        There's no percentage in it for him.

        Let the GOP crash not just the US but the global economy and see how popular it makes them.

        They are driven completely insane by the tiny, tiny fraction of Americans who call themselves the Tea Party, and who simply follow the dictates of the psychotic billionaires named Koch.

        •  Agree, he doesn't have to (0+ / 0-)

          But he's already begun pre-capitulating to someone by postponing the employer mandate and has given insurance companies a pass on capping consumers' out of pocket costs.  

          Both waivers will cost consumers tens of millions of dollars in insurance and health care costs in 2014.  So why did he do it?  What was the point?  Was this part of his back room negotiations with the GOP?  

          We don't know, all we can do is wait for the next shoe to drop.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 12:34:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is a percentage in it for the Democrats, if (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          not for Obama, who is a lame duck.

          If the economy crashes, it will be on the Democrats' watch.
          No matter whose fault it is, you end up with a he-said/she-said match-up. It's never impressive when the folks in charge are shouting "But it wasn't our fault", even when it isn't their fault.  Add the lack of an incumbent and the potential for a brutal primary season and you could be staring at a very bad year for Democrats.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 12:38:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think the limits on coverage were already (0+ / 0-)

        thrown under the bus a couple of days ago.
        It might be lifetime payout, though, instead of annual.
        I'll have to go back and check the stories.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 12:33:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was annual out of pocket costs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that were thrown under the bus a few days ago.

          He waived the cap on consumers' out of pocket medical costs til 2015. ACA originally capped consumers co-pays, deductibles (out of pocket costs) for any given year.  The amount varied according to individual or family.

          The Annual Limits on Coverage refers to removing the cap on what insurance companies pay during a consumer's lifetime.   Currently, insurance companies can set a lifetime or sometimes, annual, cap on how much they will pay on an individual's medical bills.  This one has been a big issue for cancer patients and others with expensive, chronic illnesses.    Once a patient reaches the cap, they essentially have no more insurance.

          ACA said insurance companies could no longer put a cap, either annual or lifetime on how much they pay towards a patient's medical bills.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 12:41:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just a minor quibble with this phrase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "... a promise to their base but also to the not-so-bright-lights in the teabagger bloc."

    There is no meaningful political or electoral difference between the GOP "base" and the "teabagger bloc." Functionally, they're one and the same.

  •  John Boehner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is a washed-up old alcoholic, clinging desperately to a semblance of relevancy.

    Just give it up, guy. Retire. Go quietly into that good night.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:03:54 AM PDT

  •  John Boehner and Republican Leadership (0+ / 0-)

    I have this image of John Boehner and the republican leadership running down a road kicking a can. Behind them, a bunch of rabid wolves labeled "tea party republicans".

    It has worked before.

    Now however there is a HUGE cliff labeled Oct 1, ACA implementation.

    Now what will Boehner and company do, no more kicking the can down the road!

  •  This is actually pretty smart of them . . . (0+ / 0-)

    They can pretend to be all fire and brimstone in order to survive their primaries and then not actually have to do anything when the time comes.

    If they need to do this for face saving reasons, I have no problem with that.  

    If you don't stop lying about me, I'm going to have to start telling the truth about you. Barack Obama

    by dbratl on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:16:25 AM PDT

  •  Anyone see a pattern here? (0+ / 0-)

    If we give in and repeal Obamacare, they will just use the debt ceiling as a hostage for some other Republican obession next time it comes up. They may try to privatize Social Security, or eliminate Medicaid or food stamps. Who knows?

    The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

    by shoeless on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

  •  If the GOP shuts it down, they own it (0+ / 0-)

    Then it's back to Master Cantor and others stating in advance that nobody is talking about shutting it down.

    Would guarantee the Repugs will spin it as Obama's fault should they shut it down.

  •  They are going to get their asses kicked on the (0+ / 0-)

    debt ceiling, again, by Obama.

    '14 is going to be ugly for them. The loony base is gonna go berserk on the RINO's if/when Obamacare is up an running smoothly prior to '14. They're gonna be going bonkers hunting RINO scalps.

    Good times!

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:45:03 AM PDT

  •  Since Obamacare is already here this is ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

    Millions of under 26 year olds are already on their parents' insurance plans.  Pre-existing conditions for kids are already gone.  The donut hole for seniors is already closing. etc.

    Canceling Obamacare would be disruptive already.

    Besides Obama would never do that.  He would rather evoke the 14 amendment to raise the debt ceiling himself then end Obamacare.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 10:49:18 AM PDT

  •  Here's what I don't get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If ACA is so horrible, so disliked, etc, you would think the BEST thing for the GOP would be for implementation to begin.  Then, if everything bad they predict comes to fruition and people are frustrated and infuriated by the outcomes, they would be in a perfect position to capitalize on that in the year prior to the midterms and boost their electoral numbers.  

    By threatening to shut down the government or not raise the debt ceiling, they risk pissing off supporters. But by not doing that and instead highlighting the ACAs hiccups and unintended bad consequences (which they have told us will occur) they could accomplish two goals...get more of their folks elected to Congress and then have a more realistic chance (due to the public souring on the law) to get the votes to rescind at least some of its provisions.

    Then again, maybe they're not so convinced people will sour on the law...and that could be the problem.

  •  Obamacare is the new Cap and Trade; (0+ / 0-)

    It's amazing how Republicans will turn on their own ideas for temporary political leverage. One minute, something is a market-based reform proposed by the far right, the next minute it's part of Karl Marx's plan to kill freedom one puppy at a time.

    "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

    by quillsinister on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 11:15:28 AM PDT

  •  What jerks (0+ / 0-)

    Make it happen- rid Congress of unpatriotic GOP obstructionists!

  •  Obama is no poker player (0+ / 0-)

    Day after day the Democrats beg the Repubs for co-operation and the Repubs laugh at them because they control the House.   Thank God the Repubs don't control the Senate and The Prescidency because they would run-over a Dem controlled House.  
    Now, Egypt is dealing with people that will  give nothing but demand everything and our gov wants to give Egypt advice, losing advice by any measure.   Egypt has it right, standup and use the power that you have until the opposition asked for talks, until then, full speed ahead.

    One message for both the Democrats and Egypt, peace comes after the battle and is written by the winner.

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