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U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) lead a news conference with fellow House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 4, 2013. Washington headed into the fifth day of a partial governme
A study in incompetence.
If House Republicans were capable of being embarrassed over their incompetence, the fact that they've had more than three years to come up with an Obamacare replacement plan and still can't do it would have them hiding their faces in shame. So we'll just have to keep laughing at their bumbling, made even worse by Eric Cantor's primary defeat, since Cantor was nominally in charge of coming up with the alternative
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a key sponsor of a conservative health bill that uses a free-market approach to health reform, will become majority whip later this month.

House Republicans agree that Scalise’s elevation is good news for ultimately getting a replacement measure to the floor, as a majority of them support the blueprint he and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) rolled out last fall. But while Scalise has been touting the bill—most recently on a trip to Tennessee last week—he hasn’t promised the rank and file it will get a vote. That decision would ultimately be up to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif).

In fact, no one’s predicting when a floor vote might happen. GOP lawmakers remain far from unified when it comes to the nitty-gritty details of what reforms to present and how to frame them to voters. They agree on some of the broad policy ideas, like allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines. But they don’t agree on how comprehensive reform should be, whether some tasks should be in state or federal hands, and what it should cost.

In other words, they haven't figured anything out. They're still tossing around the ideas that they can agree on, but none of those ideas actually replaces Obamacare because none of them is comprehensive. They haven't figured out whether they try to cobble those ideas together into what they'll call their plan, or vote on them separately. Nearly half of the Republican caucus has only ever cared about repeal because that's what got them elected, so they are only invested in destroying Obamacare and don't believe government should be involved at all in fixing this. But the so-called "establishment" Republicans understand that they have to finally fulfill their promise to have an alternative, and also understand that they have to have a decent alternative for the 20+ million who now have coverage thanks to the law.

The clock is ticking and they got nuthin'. And people are starting to notice, according to Idaho Republican Mike Simpson: "I think the feeling of the majority members of our conference is that you can't be something with nothing, and we gotta have [an answer for] 'What would you do if you were going to repeal Obamacare.' […] People ask me that all the time."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 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 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:35:04 AM PDT

  •  What is so bad about social insurance? (15+ / 0-)

    I confess, I don't get it. Republicans have been rip shit over Social Security since the 1930's, and berserk over every other social insurance program since then.

    WTF? Where is grandma supposed to live? In a chicken coop? What's she supposed to do when she gets sick? Make chicken soup? I don't like homeless people begging in the streets, what's wrong with doing something for them?

    Let's take care of our veterans, elderly, sick, poor, and especially our kids.


    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:47:52 AM PDT

  •  Problem is their replacement IS the ACA but (16+ / 0-)

    under a new name. It is the free market solution they touted in 1993. Of course they can't ever admit that so they will forever flail or at least until the President leaves office, at which point quiet acceptance will take over.

    Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

    by Gary Norton on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:00:10 AM PDT

  •  Majority Whip (7+ / 0-)

    The Beatings will continue until morons approve

    or something........

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:04:19 AM PDT

  •  It's hard to come up for a replacement for what... (7+ / 0-)

    It's hard to come up for a replacement for what is essentially your own program, so I'm not holding my breath.

  •  A Republican replacement for Obamacare: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, dewtx

    If you get sick, buy a lottery ticket. If you win, then you will be able to pay for medical care.

    Lotteries are a standard way services such as bed space at shelters and donated medical care have been allocated to the poorest for many years now. There is no reason why all Americans should not enjoy such benefits of Republican social services.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:12:27 AM PDT

  •  Hmm. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, dewtx, Shawn87, anon004, sethtriggs
    Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a key sponsor of a conservative health bill that uses a free-market approach to health reform, will become majority whip later this month.

    Kinda sorta like what was in existence before the ACA gave us no preexisting conditions and no lifetime limits on coverage.  

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:14:38 AM PDT

  •  This whole repeal Obamacare (6+ / 0-)

    crap is ridiculous bullshit and IMO it's one of the "issues" that is most indicicative of GOP stupidity.

    For one, it IS the conservative reform option. Two, people do like it once they understand what it really does, and three, most republicans have no friggin' clue how anything in reality works so of course they can't find a "solution" to a problem that doesn't exist anymore.

    Republicans hate first, and then try to fix a nonexistent problem. Voter fraud is another good example. Same MO that got us into the Iraq war; believe first, find the "facts" later.

    If we give them any more power this country will devolve into such a clusterfuck it would take forty years to recover. Look at the damage they did in eight.

    Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:17:22 AM PDT

  •  Oh my, someone calling out the nihilists! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, dewtx, Shawn87, anon004

    I'm amazed. Usually nihilists like these don't really get called out for their actions. It's really the politically easiest thing ever to just say "no" to everything. It's much harder to come up with a solution and actually pass it.

    And this is why Congress is broken, perhaps irreparably.

  •  Republicans don't have "spinning wheels." They (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87, anon004, sethtriggs

    haul stones with a quiver, a quay and a quo, all at the same time.

    Many times I’ve returned. Never was I the same in any of my guises. I feel inside, my times before, with no memories of each journey. My soul’s shadows haunt all the paths it has traveled.

    by Wendys Wink on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:18:26 AM PDT

  •  Their problem is the same problem Obamacare (7+ / 0-)


    You can't fix American health care without major change, and that change is going to require government involvement.  There is no free market in American health care and pretending otherwise amounts to a life and health threatening attack on the populace, not to mention a dagger into the vitals of the economy.

    Obamacare tries to intrude on the status quo in minor ways, introducing a giant pile of crap that keeps the insurance companies right where they were while forcing us into their arms and leaves the actual delivery of health care mostly untouched.


    Obamacare is too radical by ten for the current bunch of so-called conservatives. So there literally is not solution they can propose, even  if they are sincere.

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

    by dinotrac on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:22:32 AM PDT

  •  *yawn* Republicans got nothin' (5+ / 0-)

    Or, as we used to put it, Dog Bites Man.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:25:41 AM PDT

  •  Rethug Replacement for Obamacare = DIE QUICKLY! (4+ / 0-)

    (Just like Alan Grayson said)

    Obamacare = Romneycare = the conservative Heritage Foundation health care plan.

    (The Party of Stupid politicians and their filthy rich conservative benefactors don't want to contribute to the common good and pay for health care for "THOSE people".)

  •  I am hearing from my well-to-do friends and (6+ / 0-)

    relatives, not really well-to-do but those that have very, very good jobs and good incomes that they are paying double and getting less with Obamacare.

    My cousin was told by his accountant that he could not use the exchange even though his small business had no employees, because he was an incorporated small business and anyway he made too much money to get assistance. I don't think this is right and told by cousin. I know they can't get assistance but I think they can still use the exchange to get insurance. They insist they LOVED the junk insurance that got canceled and can find nothing else that doesn't cost more than double what they were paying. They won't call (I gave them the phone number) they won't look at the website (I gave them the link). I will never be able to make that horse drink.  They are Lou Dobbs on immigration, so there is that.

    My daughter's relatives on facebook say the same thing. The insurance premiums have doubled, and co-pays and deductibles went up to $4000. And their friends went up too, in face one person they know had their's go up $8000.

    These are all Republicans. What are they talking about?

    The problem with these stories is there never will be enough information to understand their spin. Because the minute you get close to understanding it, they get all private information and stop talking about it.

    Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

    by 88kathy on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:32:15 AM PDT

    •  The answer may be like that Boonstra woman who (6+ / 0-)

      refused to look at the facts.  She would not accept that the ACA could give her coverage.  "It can't be true, I personally can't believe that.  

      the dog you have, is the dog you need. - Cesar Millan

      by OregonWetDog on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:39:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are right. (0+ / 0-)

        There is an old story about Indians getting jobs in a movie. They were thrilled to be in a movie. They were supposed to ride their horses down on the wagon train. The first shot fired, all of the Indians fell off their horses.

        What are the odds if EVERY Republican I know and many of their friends were hurt by Obamacare, what are the odds that the Republicans would have picked Julie Boonstra to represent the millions that have been hurt.  And what are the odds that when the first person, Julie Boonstra, was shown to not be hurt, what are the odds that 20 more people weren't willing to take her place.

        I don't know that many people, but without fail EVERY Republican I know and their friends have been hurt.

        Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

        by 88kathy on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:39:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Something is wrong with their brains, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and they probably need an operation.  Tell them to call their doctor and get their heads examined.  

          the dog you have, is the dog you need. - Cesar Millan

          by OregonWetDog on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:02:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am fairly certain they are not speaking to me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            any more. Communication has become very sporadic and in this last exchange the Obummercare was throw away remark. I think they were very shocked that I pushed back against the almighty accountant, who I also think is a very close personal friend.

            I am not a very political person --- opinionated yes --- political no.

            Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

            by 88kathy on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:20:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I've noticed the very same thing. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, 88kathy, dewtx, Shawn87, sethtriggs

      All these reports of "Obamacare" pricing people out of the health insurance market, and making them pay more to receive less, remain apocryphal - at best.  Republicans jump on the same messaging bandwagon, making it appear to the casual observer that 'there must be something to this if it apparently affects to many people'.

      Yet time and again, whenever independent investigators & researchers have delved more deeply into their claims, they've found the same things that you have: The complainers refuse to use "that website".  They refuse to call "that phone number".

      Many of them would almost prefer to pay whatever rate increase is offered by their current insurances providers - just so they won't be in a position where they must admit that they were wrong about the ACA.  They'd rather pay more - just so they won't be deprived of their right-wing talking points - and their opportunity to bitch about the President.

      All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

      by Mystic Michael on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:55:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My bet is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, Shawn87, anon004, sethtriggs

      they took whatever their current insurer offered, which is going to be way more than what they had before, because what they had before was likely junk.

      And of course, it's going to cost more.

      If you go from a junky 87 Chevy to a nice 2014 Chevy you'll be safer, get way better mileage, and save a ton on gas and repairs, but you'll put out more at the beginning. And you'll likely pay more on insurance, because it's going to need more than just minimal liability.

      If you won't go look at something between your junker and that brand new car with every option known to man, you will just complain about how much it costs to replace your car. But if you take the effort to look a little, you'll likely find something almost as nice for a lot less.

  •  So what DOES Representative Simpson say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87, sethtriggs

    since he's asked the question all the time.  Does he say "Repeal and Replace", "Repeal and the 99% can die", "We're working to come up with alternatives which will get government out of health care, except for women's health care, the elderly, the poor, those of the wrong color and/or religion and anyone else we can be mean to", or does he mumble something about "Ask John Boehner"?  

    Surely by now he's got a canned answer.

  •  Oh, please! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, dewtx, Shawn87, anon004, sethtriggs

    The Rethugs have no serious interest in reforming or improving our healthcare system.  If they did, they would have done something about it years ago - such as while they held both houses of Congress, plus the Presidency, during the first term of Bush II.

    The only reason they're even talking about doing something is because President Obama went ahead without them, and actually accomplished something.  Doesn't anybody remember five years ago, during the early months of Obama's first term, when the White House organized a healthcare reform "summit", and invited representatives from each major party and from both houses of Congress to brainstorm and deliberate with him?  If so, then do you recall what the Republicans on that committee actually did?

    Well, they urged a lot of caution.  And they talked a lot about "studying" (i.e. stalling) the issue for many months - until the President finally moved ahead without them (thereby prompting them to label him an "imperial president" - because he dared to actually go around all their footdragging and obstructionism).  But actual action from the Republicans?  Um, no.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:44:37 AM PDT

    •  they're not talking to you (0+ / 0-)

      when they rant about the ACA. They're talking to their base.

      Low-turnout midterm elections are won by turning out the base. With no Obama on the ballot, that will be harder for the Democrats.

      Rule #1: the Republican base always, always votes. Because they fear that godless liberals are coming to take away their guns, tax their houses, and teach their children homosexuality in school.

      By constantly running against the ACA, the Republican leadership is giving their base exactly what they want: fire-and-brimstone sermons against the foul, tyrannical laws of the hated Kenyan Mooslim usurper.

      After months of this kind to talk, the GOP base will be all pumped up and raring to go in November.

      They are only trying to communicate with the extremists this year. They don't bother appealing to moderates and undecided voters in off-year elections. Only in presidential elections do those become important.

      Their strategy is working just fine, and it may well pay off in November.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:01:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they don't need to replace it. (0+ / 0-)

    They don't need to even repeal it.

    But they do need to run against it in order to fire up the Republican base for November. That's why they're continually threatening to repeal it.

    Indeed, it's better if the law remains intact through Obama's presidency, so that the Republicans can continually make futile attempts to repeal it. This will work the wingnut base up to a fever pitch by giving them a target for their hatred, and keep the Republicans' voting demographic fully stoked and energized for 2016.

    The ACA will not be repealed even if the Republicans gain control of both the WH and Congress. It's served its purpose: to secure a captive market for the insurance industry. Why would they ever repeal that? The Republicans will simply build on the foundation that Obama laid in order to complete the privatization of American health care.

    The Republicans haven't bothered with actual governance for decades now. They've never needed to. Whenever they've gotten into power, it's been through slick PR, stoking bigotry and prejudice, and a heavy dose of cheating, never through promising good governance or even having a semi-credible plan.

    Criticizing them for not having any ideas is a futile exercise. It's not like the Democrats are offering such fantastic alternatives, with their convoluted plan that merely shifts costs around, giving potential future benefits to some, denying benefits to others, allowing the GOP umpteen opportunities to sabotage things, while handing over oodles and oodles of government cash to the insurance industry.

    The Republicans are giving their base the red meat they crave, while the Democrats are offering the usual milkwater bromides and mealy-mouthed excuses for why they were able to do so little over the last five years.

    Better hope that having Elizabeth Warren talking about shaving a few dollars off student loans is going to motivate enough people to come out. Because the Republican whackjobs will be out in force in November, all riled up about the ACA, guns, homosexuality, Muslims--the usual bugbears. And it's going to take a lot of undecideds voting Dem in order to swing it for us.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:46:41 AM PDT

  •  Selling insurance across state lines is insane (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, Delevie, anon004, sethtriggs

    1. That's like saying Floridians should just buy car insurance in Wisconsin because it's much cheaper. It's cheaper because losses are less in Wisconsin guys.

    2. It's also insane because that means whichever state has the least regulation and highest barriers to sue your insurer would set national policy.

    Take the fight to them. Don't let them bring it to you. - Harry S Truman

    by jgoodfri on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:03:18 AM PDT

  •  The free market approach explained (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87, sethtriggs
    ...a conservative health bill that uses a free-market approach to health reform...
    What it means: You're on your own, sucker.
    ...allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines.
    What it means: All health insurance companies can incorporate in Deleware to avoid regulations, and there's nothing you can do about it, sucker.

    Now, pay up and hope you don't get sick, because we aren't going to help.

    If Reagan was the answer, it must have been a very silly question.

    by shoeless on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:09:26 AM PDT

  •  They can't come up with an alternative idea to (0+ / 0-)

    Obamacare because Obamacare IS their idea.

  •  I mostly know and hang out with Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Down here in South Florida.   What I tell ALL of them is that I agree the ACA needs to be "TWEAKED", but their side of the aisle and who they vote for in every election does not have a clue what to do.  Back when the healthcare argument first began, healthcare was "Eating" our Economy at 17%.  I believe those numbers were 20% of the Economy at the time the Bill was passed.   I agree that the rise in population, the absence of primary doctors in this country has all added to the mix of why healthcare is such a mess and so expensive.  The ACA and other lobbies are too powerful to skirt around them.  We need the Democrats to stop running away from their signature achievement, and we need the Republicans to come up with a few ideas of their own, instead of repealing it totally.  What a concept....the two parties working together.  I will have to go into a time machine and his the "back button" on it to see a time that ever happened.

  •  The only ratioanl replacement for Obamacare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is government single payer.  I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the Republicans to propose that.

  •  No plan, no replacement, no nuthin. Embarrassing. (0+ / 0-)

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:12:02 PM PDT

  •  How embarrassing! They got nuthin. Sad. (0+ / 0-)

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:15:23 PM PDT

  •  a study in incompetence? (0+ / 0-)

    rather, a study in impotence.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:03:18 PM PDT

  •  Olease Help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Please help us and tell Rep. Bradley Byrne (of Alabama) to support expanding Medicaid Please call Phone: (251) 690-2811 Phone: (251) 972-8545 phone: (202) 225-4931 fax: (202) 225-0562

    Please help us and tell Governor (of Alabama) Bentley to expand Medicaid.  Here’s his contact number 334-242-7100 or fax 334-353-0004.

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