Good luck with that.
House Speaker John Boehner's job has gotten substantially harder with the success of Obamacare enrollments and the reality that the law is here to stay. He's got one side—business interests—wanting his help in making changes to the law that will help them and the other—Matt Drudge and the tea party—insisting that he do nothing other than repeal. It's not working out so well
Last week, in an unusual voice vote without debate, the House passed their "doc fix," the must-pass legislation to make sure physicians didn't face a 24 percent cut in reimbursements in treating Medicare patients. Tucked quietly into that bill was a provision business organizations had been pushing for that would expand coverage options for small businesses by a eliminating cap on deductibles for small group policies offered inside the law's health care exchanges. That would allow the businesses to offer high-deductible, cheaper policies for people who also have health savings accounts. That would count, for many, as an improvement in the law. Including Matt Drudge, who had a screaming headline Monday morning: "Republicans Expand Obamacare?"
Boehner is now falling all over himself trying to insist that this isn't an expansion, but actually a repeal.
Please read below the fold for more on this story.
In the statement, Boehner aide Kevin Smith insisted that the GOP hadn't expanded Obamacare, but repealed a piece of the law.
Obama, according to Smith, signed a bill "that repeals from ObamaCare a harmful provision designed to prop up the law at the expense of families and small employers."
"The law includes Rep. Tom Reed’s (R-NY) bill (H.R. 2995) that repeals the cap on deductibles for health plans in the small group market," Smith wrote. "Repealing this provision will give employers more flexibility over the type of health care options they can offer their employees, and will expand the use of high-deductible plans paired with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)." […]
"Maybe you say it helps (Obamacare), but it really helps the small businessman," Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) told the AP.
Uh, huh. You just keep sticking with that, Roe. Boeher and Roe have bigger problems than just Drudge, though. They've got to sell this to their own caucus, many of whom might not even have realized they were voting on this
, since the provision was sneaked into the "doc fix," and passed on a voice vote without any debate.
This won't the be last time powerful lobbying interests are going to be pushing Boehner to make improvements to a law that is now not just established, but working. Repeal simply isn't going to be an answer for him. But repeal is the only thing the nihilists controlling his party want.