Congressional Republicans are not going to wait for Donald Trump’s inauguration to get started on one of his signature promises. With the landscape clear for an Obamacare repeal, GOP lawmakers plan to take immediate steps in Congress that will make it easier for them to finally dismantle Obama’s destructive Affordable Care Act.
House Republicans plan to introduce a new pack of rules on Tuesday that will set the stage for repeal legislation. First, they must tackle the thorny problem of what might appear to be an increase in federal spending – an illusion the Democrats are already taking advantage of in their public relations campaign for the law.
The rules would protect any bills aimed at repealing the ACA from another rule aimed at preventing an increase in government spending. Reason being – a repeal of the law, absent a coherent replacement, would indeed mean an increase in spending. This is because the ACA saves billions of dollars by reducing the amount of federal Medicare payments to hospitals.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is jumping on this point to argue against the repeal. “Republicans are admitting that repealing the Affordable Care Act will increase costs,” she said.
But of course, that’s only true if the Republicans don’t plan on replacing the Obamacare system with a new healthcare law. No one in the GOP is seriously proposing a move back to the old way. Everyone recognizes the highlights of the ACA, few as they may be.
This shows you how important it will be for Republicans to get out in front of this thing from a media perspective. It’s not going to be enough just to go in there with a foolproof legislative strategy. If public opinion turns against repealing Obamacare, it’s going to die before the GOP ever puts it up for a vote. It won’t be any Democratic maneuvering in the House that stops them; it will be the Democratic maneuvering in the press.
We’ve seen the GOP get stymied this way many times before. They get swamped by the overwhelmingly negative media coverage and have no choice but to back down. They can’t let that happen with the ACA. They have to go on TV and make the case. They have to follow Donald Trump’s example: Take the message straight to the people and stop waiting for the liberal media to give you a fair shake. It isn’t going to happen.