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."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.
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."
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.