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It's no great revelation that Republicans have painted themselves into a political corner over Obamacare repeal—nearly four dozen votes in the House, and a government shutdown to force something that was never going to happen, to "fulfill" the promise they made to an extremist base to fight this law. Now that the law is being implemented, it's becoming clearer and clearer to Americans that this law doesn't do a whole lot more than to make health insurance more available and better. Now they have to face that reality that they promised more than they could ever deliver, and keep on making that promise. It's becoming increasingly challenging for them to justify pushing for repeal.

One Republican, North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis, who is running against Sen. Kay Hagan is example number one for this dilemma. That's him in the video above, being interviewed by local outlet TWCN about his support for repeal.

"Well, you know, the focus of the attack ads is 'Thom Tillis is against having some sort of safety net for preexisting conditions, and for kids under 26 years old being on their [parents'] policy," Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, told TWCN. "Republicans have made those proposals before. It's not about that. It's not about everything else in Obamacare that doesn't work. So we do need health care reform. We don't need something as large and complex and costly as the Affordable Care Act because it can't work."

In the interview, flagged by the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, Tillis was asked if he supports an Obamacare replacement bill offered by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), and he wouldn't say.

"Republicans do need to communicate that we agree that there are serious health care issues among the American people that we need to solve," he said. "But we need to do it in a way that's sustainable, that's prudent, and that doesn't put other programs like Medicare at risk."

Nice little slip-in of the big Medicare lie, there, by the way. Here's the Republicans' big problem on full display. They have to say that they want to keep all the stuff that all the people like but they refuse to acknowledge that there has to be a way to pay for it, the part that people don't like about the law. And they are fundamentally unwilling to do the hard work to figure out—for real—how to get there. How to really create a health care system that really is sustainable. None of the ideas they've cooked up so far, including Burr's deeply flawed plan actually get there.

The GOP's dilemma here just reinforces the primary problem with the party in the Obama era: they have no serious policy ideas or solutions. They only know how to oppose.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 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 Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:34:23 AM PST

  •  Exposed: Republicans are now and will forever be (4+ / 0-)

    the Unfunded Mandate Party. "We like the Obamacare prescription, we just don't want to pay for it."

  •  So NC GOP "there are serious health care issues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tampaedski, Dodgerdog1

    among the American people that we need to solve"

    but they're against medicaid expansion. Think that might solve 1 or 2 health care issues among NC citizens?

  •  "Tiny" Thom Tillis as many refer to him here in NC (5+ / 0-)

    is joke that must be taken seriously as he will have the big guns ($$$) behind him to unseat Hagen.  That's about all he has going for him as he is one big jerk of a politician that's in the pocket of A.L.E.C. so deep, he has their pocket link stuck to his nose, and "elsewhere".

    "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy...." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:16:07 PM PST

  •  Salon has several column inches of eyerollism (6+ / 0-)

    Are Republicans even trying? Another Obamacare horror story bites the dust

    Given how horrible Obamacare supposedly is, it's bizarre the GOP has such a hard time finding real victims


    I, for one, am happy the GOP made the mendacious bed they are forced to sleep in for an entire election season.

  •  I'd love to see a political ad stressing this... (5+ / 0-)
    ...they have no serious policy ideas or solutions. They only know how to oppose.

    Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

    by rbird on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:19:58 PM PST

    •  Republicans really don't have any serious ideas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Bob Friend

      Republicans have lots of stupid ideas or silly ideas, such as these:

      Let's allow people buy insurance across state lines! -- Republicans like to race to the bottom. If your state has too many state laws/regulations you could buy crappy insurance from a state that doesn't regulate health insurance very well. So it's cheaper, but it doesn't cover anything. Or the deductible is so high, it's worthless.

      We'll encourage people to get health care in the free market! -- Republicans like to tell people to shop around and find the best price for doctors or surgeons or drugs. Well, no. If you're bleeding to death and passed out, you're not in a position to shop around. If you have insurance, you're gonna go to the doctor that's in your plan. If you don't have insurance, you're not gonna look for preventive care, you're gonna wait until you have a crisis and then go to the nearest emergency room. Speaking of which...

      Sick people can simply go to an Emergency Room because ERs treat everybody! Republicans are fond of saying that poor people can go to an ER and the hospital has to treat them. 1) Yes, but this raises the cost of health care for everyone. 2) And it leads to bankruptcies for people who have a bit of money and can't pay the bills. 3) And it encourages uninsured people to avoid preventive care (which might cost them money) and wait until they have a heart attack or something. 4) If you need insulin, you can't just go to the ER every goddamn day to get free insulin.

      Let's avoid government bureaucrats who will have death panels! I boil with rage at this Republican meme. I'd rather have a government bureaucrat making decisions about spending money on a medical procedure than an insurance company bureaucrat deciding that, "Sorry, that's gonna hurt our bottom line."


      That's it for now. I could come up with a dozen other really stupid Republican ideas for reforming health care.

      Obamacare (which is based on Romneycare in MA or the system in Switzerland) is flawed because it doesn't go far enough. We need a national guaranteed health care system, like Canada's or England's or Norway's.

      "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

      by Dbug on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:58:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Medicare for all!

        We need to stress the brain-dead nature of the Repub Party and its candidates, not make allowances or play nice - not you and me, we know they're stupid, but the national party and many of our candidates seem to want to play nice with these idiots. These people are stone-stupid and have proved it again and again. Only take a small push to paint them with "the stupid people" label.

        Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

        by rbird on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:25:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If govt. can do no good, they have no solutions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Because if government does help they defile Ronnie Reagan and neoconservatism's reason for being. They cannot say to the true believers, "We're from the government and we're here to help." That won't fly with their base.

      And just like creationists, they believe in something that loses the battle due to lack of evidence that proves evolution wrong. Refuting the science means nothing if you can't provide an alternative explaination for the factz.In the same way as the ACA continues to provide ways to keep health care costs down they will not have the evidence to prove it will be bad overall for America. And they are at risk if they try to make it better. It would be a breach of faith for them.

      •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They're stuck.  Their ideology is a massive failure because it doesn't work, but they can't abandon their ideology because their shrinking base won't have it.  That leaves them only opposition, with not one idea in their heads how to fix things or even how to govern.

        Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

        by rbird on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 10:45:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obamacare Strengthening Medicare (6+ / 0-)

    The White House also has an excellent infographic with more information about how the Affordable Care Act is Strengthening Medicare.

  •  I realized recently (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Gordon20024, Uniprober

    that FOX channel has turned into the 24-hour a day Obamacare Big Lie channel.  The place I work has Fox on all day long and once an hour - at least - they have a talking head on to talk about "Five million losing their insurance!" and "Millions more unable to afford the higher premiums" and other complete fabrications.  And they trade off between half a dozen other fabricated Obamacare lie stories to "IRS scandal" and "Obama sidestepping Congress with his tyrannical power" scoops. At some point they are going to have to cut bait on the Obamacare big lies because there will just be too many people getting insurance plans and too much good news for them to avoid.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:24:40 PM PST

  •  Lets see who should be responsible for shouldering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, Noodles

    the majority of the burden of the cost of health care for the nation?

    Either our entire society through our Govt with the unlimited ability to create these things called dollars


    Regular people who aren't making any more money today in real terms than they did in 1991.

    The Cons are a truly stupid bunch, they always want the Gov to give people less money as if We can run out of the stuff.

    For example, I am getting a subsidy of $60 per month which saved me $720 a year. Nobody has been able to explain to me why me having an extra $720 this year is bad. Inflation? HAHAHAHA. Thats a nice raise!

    But you know what would be even better for me and society, if the Govt would let me keep the other $1200 that I piss away to Blue Cross Blue Shield every year.

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

    by Auburn Parks on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:47:17 PM PST

  •  I ask my Regressive representative (0+ / 0-)

    this question whenever possible:

    "Why don't you want people in your district to have affordable health insurance?"

    So far, she hasn't answered. And I'm not surprised.

    There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

    by Phil T Duck on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:52:43 PM PST

  •  I hope Kay Hagan kicks his sorry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    white wrinkled ass.  Let's help where we can to make that happen!

  •  Is the ACA real reform? (0+ / 0-)

    As much as I would like the ACA to represent a real change, the problem is that it merely requires us to buy into the same health care system that has created the problem in the first place.  Merely spreading inflated costs among a larger share of the population does not fix the problem.  

    The basic problem in American health care is the health insurance model, and tweaking that means of metering and delivering care does not necessarily address any of our problems, particularly for a large swath of the middle class.  Despite the optimistic rhetoric, here in Minnesota, the "affordable" part of the act only applies if your household income will, with tweaking, move you into a subsidy.  For a household (two middle aged adults), with an income of about 60k, the monthly premium for a "bronze" plan, with a deductible of $6,700, is over $500 per month, and for a lower deductible, the monthly premium cost ranges from over $600 per month to more than $1,000 per month.  Moreover, the coverage often vanishes if the insured ventures outside the prescribed network.  This is not necessarily a cost savings.  The ultimate question is not whether one individual here or there had a higher or lower premium, but what subscriber data, in the aggregate, will ultimately show, and although that data is not yet available, the results that can be gleaned thus far are decidedly mixed.  

    The other, dirtly little secret of the health care reform act is that your out of pocket medical expenses must now exceed 10% of your AGI before you can take an itemized deduction on schedule A.  The old rate was 7.5%.  ( Moreover, beware of HSA's.  Remember that you cannot use the money in an HSA to pay premiums, nor can the money be used for "co-pays."  In the event you must "raid" the account to pay other expenses, or any "non-qualified" health care expenses, you not only pay income tax on the money withdrawn, but a penalty of 10%.  The reality is that those who can afford to put as much as $5,000 or more into an HSA to cover their deductible expenses probably have much more money to spend than the ACA's target population.  

    Real reform is not accomplished by simply requiring everyone to share in the excess costs of health care administration built into insurance coverage.  And for that broad swath of the middle class that does not qualify for significant subsidies based on income, and who cannot otherwise afford health insurance, merely requiring them to purchase coverage at the same market rate (and the truth is, the rates are largely unchanged if considered without subsidies) does not fix the problem.  Moreover, what becomes of you if you have a prolonged illness and, while out of work, miss a premium payment?  Do some research on that one.  

    A good friend of mine was a senior executive at one of the large health insurance providers in Minnesota.  I asked him for his reaction to the ACA.  He reminded me that the act was crafted under the direction of the insurance industry, including his large, national health care insurer.  In his view, it was a win for insurance, since it reprsents a government mandate that everyone purchase their product.  In other words, the cost of removing pre-existing condition exclusions, among other things, was more than made up by the extra business.  And make no mistake, the largest health care insurers are making big money -- whether or not they are "non-profit."  The CEO of Minnesota-based UnitedHeathcare, Stephen Hemsley, for example, was reported to have accepted a "paycut" of up to 20%.  (, but if his earnings in 2012 were 13.89 million, I am guessing he can still get by.  

    So rooty-toot-toot for the ACA.  Is it a start?  Surely, if only for its role in moving the discussion of health care to the front burner.  Is it a solution?  Probably not.  Our national health care expenses will, in all likelihood, continue to be 17% of our GDP, and may increase.  (Health care expenses in most of the industrialized, "first" world countries, even those that have "socialized" medical care, is a little more than half that rate.  See the GDP expenditures by country here:  Does the ACA fix the fundamental problem of American health care -- it's excessive cost?  No, it merely attempts to spread that over a larger pool.  

    The real question may be, by building "reform" on the model of private health insurance, whie still using private industry to meter and deliver the service, have we not put the fox in charge of the hen house?  

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