Now that Obamacare is super failing, and we have a majority who want it rolled back and repealed, the pressure is on the Republicans who were playing along with the conservatives to suddenly pull back and try to save another big government usurpation of the American economy and the people. There really can be no other explanation. If people were willing to vote for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and were willing to vote in favor of the government shut down, then why would the possibly change their tunes now when it is such a horrific failure?
The HuffPo headline says it all: “After 42 Repeal Votes And A Shutdown, GOP Senator Says He Likes A Key Part Of Obamacare.”
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson conceded on Monday that the battle to fully repeal Obamacare had been lost and Republicans should now “start talking about transitioning.” Johnson, who made his remarks to National Review, also gave a lukewarm endorsement to state-based health insurance exchanges, a keystone of the Affordable Care Act.
“How do you repeal?” he asked. “Yeah, you can get rid of the law, but what do you do with what’s already there?”
One element that is already there, at least in states run by Democrats, is the insurance exchange, where consumers can compare competing plans. Most Republican-run states have refused to set up their own exchanges, leaving it to the federal government’s Healthcare.gov website instead.
No. No! Never!
Even if Johnson had some secret desire to eviscerate Obamacare in the name of saving it, that would not be enough. Politics is partially about public opinion. Obamacare is an unprecedented opportunity to completely repeal and destroy a big government rollout. As icing on the case it even caries the name of the liberal icon of the twenty-first century. It needs to be publicly defeated and hated by the American people.
And Johnson may have no such hidden nobility in mind. Many republicans are scared of the defeat of liberalism. After all, how are they going to get their budgetary wish list passed through Congress if they don’t have the excuse of compromising with those who want to expand the welfare state? The post-New-Deal status (statist!) quo gets upset if Obamacare gets defeated.
So even apart from the fact that the program is going to destroy the country, this is a battle worth fighting for. It is an amazing opportunity. Anyone who’s not willing to fight for it needs to be replaced.
I don’t know Johnson personally. There is a chance, based on the National Review’s account, that he may be salvageable. But he needs to know that conservatives are not willing to settle for any half-way measures. If he has friends in high places pressuring him to settle, he needs to feel pressure the other way.