But here's just how schizoid the House Republicans have become. In addition to the Obamacare fixes they're voting on this week, they're also planning to take another hostage in order to try to delay the individual mandate in the law.
House Republicans have a bold new strategy to attack Obamacare, which involves huge pay cuts for physicians unless Democrats agree to delay the law's individual mandate to buy insurance.Please read below the fold for more on this story.
GOP leaders intend to vote on legislation this week, aides say, to delay the individual mandate in order to fund a "doc fix" that avoids a 24 percent pay cut to physicians under Medicare—which will automatically take effect on April 1 unless Congress acts. Inaction would disrupt the health care system, in part by causing many doctors to stop accepting Medicare patients.
It's not going to work. Senate Democrats won't have a vote on a mandate delay. The doc fix is a must pass bill, for seniors, for physicians. If Republicans decide to really hold the doc fix hostage over the mandate, they'll take all the blame if it isn't fixed in time, just like they took all the blame over the government shutdown. The doc fix happens every year, and for the last few, Republicans have unsuccessfully tried to take it hostage to no avail.
This time they're betting that President Obama is going to delay the individual mandate at the last minute, as he's delayed the employer mandates.
"Is President Obama willing to block a doc fix because he disagrees with a mandate delay he himself is likely to implement?" said a House GOP leadership aide. "Democrats are in a tighter position than [they'd] have you believe."Which really doesn't make a lot of sense. Democrats know that the doc fix will be done, one way or the other, because Republicans can't afford to now make it happen. They also know that Obama will or won't delay the mandate without much regard to what the House does. So as a hostage-taking effort, this one is pretty weak.
If it really seems like Boehner and team are flailing, it's because they are.