Let's Watch The GOP Cage Fight With Itself About Obamacare, Again
As Senate Republicans have slowly -- very slowly -- begun to realize that "We're trying to take away your healthcare, for your FREEDOM!" is not a very good campaign slogan, they're trying to figure out how to save themselves and their jobs just in case the Supreme Court agrees with them that subsidized healthcare is ILLEGAL and grants their wish to kill that part of Obamacare, with judicial fire. That's why Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Asshole) introduced a bill in April to restore subsidies for the millions of Obamacare enrollees who would lose coverage, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of their party's leadership in the Senate support this legislation because they really care about making sure Americans don't lose their healthcare. By which we mean they really care about making sure they don't lose their jobs in the 2016 election. There's just one teeny tiny problem for Johnson and the rest of his Senate colleagues, and it's coming from inside the House:
The growing divide between the two chambers leaves the GOP in an awkward spot. The court could gut Obamacare in June, handing Republicans a long-sought victory they couldn’t achieve legislatively. But without a backup plan that the whole party supports, the GOP has no way to blunt the political damage if millions of Americans lose the ability to pay for their health insurance.
When asked about Johnson’s bill, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Utah), said only “Eerrrrrrntt!” in imitation of a game show buzzer, and gave a thumbs down.
Senate Republicans like to imagine they are the more reasonable grownups in their party, which is HI-frickin'-larious because they are all of them, every single one, some variation of NUTS. But those House Republicans? They are super extra crunchy oven-roasted nuts, and they do not give a single flying fuck if Americans lose their healthcare and then blame Republicans for taking it away from them. They made a promise to their constituents to kill Obamacare with fire, and by Republican Jesus, they will kill it DEAD, or get the Supreme Court to do it for them, whatever. (Even though everyone knows the Supreme Court does not have the authority to do that sort of thing, as Republicans keep telling us, but maybe that only applies to the gay stuff, who even knows?)
Rep. Bill Flores, chairman of the Republican Study Committee -- one of the several super-duper far-right caucuses in the House, and no, we can't tell you how to tell them apart because they are all super-duper far-right -- says he will be goddamned if he's going to support any legislation, even the GOP kind, that in any way upholds or extends any part of Obamacare:
“If you’re voting for an extension, you’re essentially voting for the continuation of Obamacare — that’s a real problem,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores of Texas, who said he is planning to release an Obamacare replacement plan in the coming days.
Of course, Republicans have been planning to release a replacement plan for Obamacare that would be like Obamacare, but called something different, for -- what? like, five years now? -- so we won't be holding our breath for that. But we will be sitting back and laughing at Republicans fighting amongst themselves about how to kill Obamacare without actually killing Obamacare, because it seems like voters would not care for that after all. WHO KNEW? (Everyone knew.)
The other teeny tiny problem that makes the whole REPUBLICANS IN DISARRAY spat moot is that Sen. Johnson and his fellow GOP senators are trying to have their cake AND shove it in their faceholes too, by protecting the Obamacare subsidies but repealing other parts of Obamacare. That's not something Democrats are going to support, and even if Republicans somehow managed to get the bill through the House and Senate, President Obama would die laughing as he stamped his big-ass VETO stamp all over it a hundred times and then some.
But go on, Republicans, enjoy your intraparty battle royale about how to save Obamacare just in case you succeed in killing Obamacare. Who doesn't enjoy irony?