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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses as he gives his reaction to the Supreme Court's upholding key parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law in Washington June 28, 2012.  Romney said on Thursday that the Amer
In case you were wondering why this "new" approach sounded familiar...
Conservatives aligned with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's "Young Guns Network" are pushing a new document that they hope will help rebrand the GOP, reports The New York Times:
Hoping to push their agenda ahead of the presidential election, a group of prominent conservatives has devised a 121-page policy manifesto aimed at giving the Republican Party a message that will attract some of the middle-class voters the party lost in recent White House races.
At least on the surface, it seems like a pretty smart move for Republicans to try to develop and promote policies that will make Americans hate them less, doesn't it? And they certainly need to pull themselves out of the anti-Obama rathole, as one of the manifesto's authors acknowledges:
“Building a post-Obama conservatism is more important than still trying to beat Obama,” Ramesh Ponnuru, a conservative writer and the author of one of the book’s essays, said, explaining his frustration.
But it's easier for a conservative to say those things than to actually pull it off. And to see what I mean, you need not look past the first sentence of the first policy essay in the document (page 23 of this PDF, after two introductory essays):
Public opinion polls have consistently shown that more voters oppose Obamacare than support it, and that opposition to the law is more intense than support for it.
The author goes on to spend the next ten pages making the case that in order to repeal Obamacare, Republicans need to propose something in its place. His solution: Repealing regulations on what insurers must cover, moving away from tax subsidies for employer-based insurance to tax credits for individuals, stopping insurers from dropping coverage to people who get sick, but restoring their ability to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions who don't already have coverage, and replacing the current Medicaid system with a combination of the aforementioned tax credits and per capita payments to states to run the program as they wish.

In other words, it's the same old conservative approach to repealing Obamacare that we've seen for the past five years: Replace Obamacare by repealing it, plus ending Medicaid as we know it. Nothing new here. They may have the right diagnosis—that the GOP needs a new governing agenda—but they don't have the right prescription.

But I will give them credit for this: There's no mention of Benghazi anywhere in the entire document.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  First revision (to include BENGHAZI!!!!) (11+ / 0-)

    due at the printers tonight.

    Rush — the quivering rage heap who is apparently desperately trying to extinguish any remaining molecule of humanity that might still reside in the Chernobyl-esque Superfund cleanup site that was his soul. -- Jon Stewart

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:23:29 AM PDT

    •  Repeal ACA and replace with... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onionjim, tampaedski, thomask

      ...atomic war with Iran!!!

      That's the GOP way—bomb first, ask questions later.

      “When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” —Abraham Lincoln

      by Pragmatus on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:39:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey what about Benghazi? :-) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brillig, TomP, Pragmatus, Eric Nelson

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:23:52 AM PDT

  •  Does it mention... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pragmatus

    How conditions such as being gay married or female will put you into the "higher premiums for less coverage" group? I am sure that was supposed to be in there...

    "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

    by brillig on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:25:14 AM PDT

  •  If at first you don't succeed (4+ / 0-)

    try try again endlessly .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:26:25 AM PDT

    •  It would be amazing what (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, libera nos, Uniprober

      this country could accomplish if it weren't for the disgusting corruption and the partisan games. Our infrastructure is in grave condition, no high speed rail, and the voters have yet to face the traitorous activity of the GOP. The media whitewashes the blatent bribery, calling it business as usual. Well it is, but that don't make it right.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:39:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More Progress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pragmatus
    Replacing the current Medicaid system with a combination of the aforementioned tax credits
    Based on recent history, I think we should also consider it progress that they don't plan on replacing Medicare with a program that covers only Rural Americans.

    Our Dime: Understanding the Federal Budget

    by Dustin Mineau on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:34:42 AM PDT

  •  Good for repubs (4+ / 0-)

    Keep chasing that parked car GOP, and keep smashing your teeth into that back bumper. 50 times isn't enough, you need to try harder and more often. Americans will surely support you then.

  •  They need a 12-step program (3+ / 0-)

    Because they are ADDICTED to LYING. And stealing. And murdering, too, while we're at it.

    Don't see it coming any time soon.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:37:39 AM PDT

    •  I've seen their 12-step program (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, kmom4kids

      1. Repeal Obamacare.
      2. Benghazi!
      3. He's a Muslim!
      4. Repeal Obamacare.
      5. Benghazi!
      6. He's a Muslim!
      7. Repeal Obamacare.
      8. Benghazi!
      9. He's a Muslim!
      10. Repeal Obamacare.
      11. Benghazi!
      12. He's a Muslim!

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:14:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What you don't realize is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim

    "Repeal Obamacare" loosely translated means "Benghazi" in Libyan Arabic.  ;)

  •  qwatz (0+ / 0-)
    But I will give them credit for this: There's no mention of Benghazi anywhere in the entire document.
    they will probably issue a revised version in the next few weeks.  
  •  Their polls show dislike for Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    That's what happens when you ask skewed questions. Ask about the provisions in the Affordable Care Act and I think they will get drastically different findings.

    Conservatives need to stop believing their shaky polling.

  •  here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

    they want to take out the most popular parts. Do they actually think people will support the reversal tax based employer based exemption? They think the disruption in the market was bad before. It's pretty dumb optically. That's basically raising taxes on everyone with those plans if they even have those plans after that goes into effect

     

    •  I was thinking the same thing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSmoke

      When I saw this in the diary:

      moving away from tax subsidies for employer-based insurance to tax credits for individuals
      While public approval for the ACA remains low, I can imagine how low public approval would be for any Republican plan that includes this element.  Since most recent Republican health reform proposals have included this particular change, I think that's one reasons why the "replace" part of "repeal and replace" is generally kept vague.  Touching the employer provided benefits that most middle class voters currently have is the political kiss of death.

      One big problem is that any comprehensive health care proposal of necessity will be complex and will contain provisions that are going to be unpopular.  Any comprehensive health care proposal will create both winners and losers.  And that means that any proposal can easily get picked apart and end up with approval ratings that are at least as bad as those of the ACA.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  spot on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom

        the individual market is way smaller, they like to say on ly cadillac plans would be effected, but in the end most of the right's plans cover less people, at least the ones that get fleshed out. Even though I rather see single payer. The ACA has effectively boxed out the right. Nothing they propose can either pass thier own house or not generate outage to cost them elections.

  •  No mention of Benghazi, eh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GWinkler, htowngenie, Eric Nelson

    From page 14 of the PDF:

    Progressives in America have always viewed those mediating institutions that stand Between the individual and the government with suspicion, seeing them as instruments of division, prEjudice, and selfishNess or as power centers lackinG in democratic legitimacy. They Have sought to empower the government to rAtionaliZe the life of our socIety by clearing away those vestiges of backwardness and putting in their place public programs and policies motivated by a single, cohesive understanding of the public interest. This clearing away has in some cases consisted of crowding out the mediating institutions by taking over some of their key functions through direct government action. In other cases, it has involved turning elements of civil society and the private economy into arms of government policy—by requiring compliance with policy goals that are foreign to many civil-society institutions or consolidating key sectors of the economy and offering protection to large corporations willing to act as public utilities or advance policymakers’ priorities.

    No doubt there are many more hidden references throughout the document.

  •  So that's what Ramesh Ponnuru is up to. (0+ / 0-)

    That's a relief. I can sleep at night again.

    I was so very concerned that he might have wandered off or ran with a pair of scissors or some such horror.

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:47:37 AM PDT

  •  It's ashame the attack happened in Benghazi... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    htowngenie, bernardpliers

    ....if only there were some scandal involving Obama and his handling of something in Bird In Hand, or Blueball, or Intercourse; all sleepy PA towns.  I would just love years of straight-faced Repubs standing there, solemnly intoning about Intercourse, or they would be making up hashtags like #blueball .

    Darn that benghazi!!

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:49:55 AM PDT

  •  Somebody needs to send them nice little plaques, (0+ / 0-)

    suitable for framing, with this simple inscription:

    That ship has sailed, Bozo, and you weren't on it!

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

    by dinotrac on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:50:40 AM PDT

  •  8 out of 10 items in the agenda are "Reform" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Urban Space Cowboy

    - Health care reform (covered above)
    - Tax reform (gov't should pay people to have kids)
    - K-12 education reform (vouchers)
    - College education reform (nothing)
    - Safety-net reform (slush fund block grants to states)
    - Employment policies (pay people to hire the longterm unemployed)
    - Energy reforms (burn baby burn!)
    - Regulatory and financial reforms (Reduce regulations!)
    - Labor, tax and fiscal reforms (Cutting taxes!)
    - Pro-family policies (Cutting taxes!)

    The Luntz is definitely with these bozos.

    It's baffling how a conservative can refer to policy failures over "last 30 years" without acknowledging that as a period where conservative ideas were in ascendancy. Continuing and exacerbating the failures of conservative ideas and policy is not "reform".

    I especially like the blurb that starts with this winner:

    Ever since the Reagan era, conservatives have been captivated by the power of cutting marginal tax rates.
    And then goes on to say that marginal rates are as low as they can go. Look at the awesome power of cutting marginal rates! Conservatives got everything they wanted and the result is an across the board disaster! Captivating!
  •  Maybe after the GOPer primaries.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...will you see them make moves in the direction of the political center. Mitch McConnell has a fair amount of backtracking to do, for example.

    The document is worth reading just to see what the bright minds of the right are imagining; despite a few decent ideas, the policy direction isn't much different - tax cuts and credits for whatever, public assistance allows poor folk to make babies out of wedlock. It's still a decent summary of what's been floating around since the GOP's loss of the 2012 presidential election.

    What's interesting is the placement of focus on the middle class (despite much of the document being about policies affecting the lower economic class). Past efforts were all about coddling so-called 'job creators' by re-heating trickle-down economics and continued industry de-regulation. It's good that some conservatives realize they have a real issue appealing to anyone who isn't a right-wing extremist or dickish millionaire and know they need to change. Remains to be seen if it's just lip service or encouragement of more class antagonism.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    by grape crush on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:03:57 AM PDT

  •  Repeal will cost the GOP, moreso as it kicks in.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GWinkler

    ..if this misinformation is what the GOP decide to run with:
    from the pdf:

    Public opinion polls have consistently shown that more voters oppose Obamacare than support it, and that opposition to the law is more intense than support for it.
    That is old news, and once the message gets out that people in red states are being denied healthcare access that they've paid taxes to support?...loser tactic for the GOP
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PPACA Rasmussen poll May 12, 2014
    Voters still give the U.S. health care system mixed reviews, but slightly more voters now think the system will improve under the new national health care law. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 33% of Likely Voters rate the current health care system as good or excellent. Thirty-one percent (31%) describe the system as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here).

     - emphasis added

    The trend is there now
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Here is an on the street sampling of what people want vs the misleading rhetoric that republicans/teabaggers had success in 2010.

    It won't work. People want healthcare and the false "Obamacar/death panel" labeling of it may have worked before it was fully implemented, but in time as people discover the protection PPACA offers from insurance company abuses and that they, the customer, now have more power over big corpo insurance with this protection (new set of rules limiting gouging etc.), the noise and slander will matter less and having good coverage (maybe for the first time) will matter more

    Steve Kornacki hosting ‘All In’ for Chris Hayes shows a Jimmy Kimmel clip of people asked whether they prefer the  ‘Affordable Care Act’ vs  ‘Obamacare’ | here is a shortened clip:
    (short ad - sorry)
    Full segment @ link with following conversation with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) who unlike many of the GOP governors helped his constituents by setting up health care exchanges and expanding Medicaid:   http://video.msnbc.msn.com/...

    If this is the GOP front line offensive strategy it's good news - imo

    Thx Jed Lewison

  •  The funniest part is of course (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GWinkler

    that Obamacare IS the conservative, corporate approach to a national health system.  It's impossible to design a conservative, corporate system that is anything else and still works as a national system.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:34:10 AM PDT

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