April 2nd, 2014
09:34 AM ET
8 months ago

Inside Politics: GOP responds to Obamacare enrollment with new repeal plan

Our morning look Inside Politics:

7.1 million enrolled: President Obama on Tuesday crowed in the Rose Garden about meeting the health care law’s open enrollment goal for private insurance. And he had a message for Republicans who continue to oppose it.

Here’s the good, long, meaty quote from Obama’s speech:

“This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people, or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I’ve got to admit, I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance? Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans, and in the coming years it will help millions more.”

Related: Obamacare reaches enrollment goal

Don’t look for Republicans to give up on Obamacare. Paul Ryan’s budget, released Tuesday, calls again for a full repeal of Obamacare. And Ted Cruz tweeted this:

Behind the scenes: How Bradley Cooper saved Obamacare (or, as Politico writes): It was a Hollywood bump that turned things around. Seriously. The site gives major credence to the idea that the viral video and social efforts helped salvage the Obamacare enrollment effort. A turning point was Bradley Cooper, at the White House before a state dinner for France, brainstorming through a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, getting out his cell phone and putting Zach Galifianakis on speaker phone.

Ryan’s utopia: There’s a lot of red meat for fiscal conservatives in Ryan’s latest budget, headed for action in Congress soon. It has exactly zero chance of becoming law this year, but Ryan says it isn’t supposed to. This is the GOP’s vision of what should be done, not a serious proposal for what to do. It cuts $5 trillion in spending over five years. It balances the budget by 2024. But it has major cuts to entitlements and social programs like Medicaid. It would completely reform Medicare into a “premium support” system (Democrats will call that “vouchers") and it repeals Obamacare. Now that the health law is finally in place and millions have the insurance Democrats have been talking about for five years, fat chance the president’s party will let that happen.

But it is clear Republicans realize they need an alternative to Obamacare, not just an (officially unrealistic) pledge to simply repeal it.

Related: Ryan budget aims to cut trillions, balance budget, reform Medicare

The Washington Post reports that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will release his own health reform plan in D.C. on Wednesday. It shares some similarities with earlier GOP proposals and also includes a “premium support” idea like the one in Ryan’s budget.

What’s a “premium support” look like in Jindal’s plan?

The Post: “His plan also borrows the central, never-realized idea from the Medicare commission on which he worked in the late 1990s, which suggests that the federal insurance program for older Americans convert to a system known as “premium support.” This would be a dramatic change, replacing a program in which the government sets prices and pays the medical bills of elderly patients with a new model in which the government would give those patients money to buy coverage from private health plans competing to provide their care.”

Cheney’s warning: He didn’t say “Rand Paul,” but certainly that’s who he was talking about when he spoke behind closed doors to the Republican Jewish Conference and GOP moneyman and billionaire magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Audio of Cheney, which also includes a not-so-subtle story that seems to suggest the U.S. should deploy American military might against Iran’s nuclear program, was released by Mother Jones, the liberal publication of 47 percent fame.

"One of the things that concerns me first about the campaign, that I'm worried about," Cheney said, "is what I sense to be an increasing strain of isolationism, if I can put it in those terms, in our own party. It's not taking over, by any means, but there is without question a body of thought now that's supported by many Republicans and some candidates that the United States can afford to turn its back on that part of the world." Cheney complained that "some candidates" think the Middle East is "not our problem. … Bring the boys home. There's no reason in the world for us to be involved in that part of the world." But, he remarked, "anybody who thinks back on the problems of 9/11" knows that "it makes absolutely no sense at all for us to contemplate that course of action."

Some other things we’re watching today:

Cruz’s memoir payday: Ted Cruz has gotten a $1.5 million advance for a book, according to the Washington Examiner. That’s a larger advance than Sarah Palin got after she rocketed into the national consciousness during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Writes Paul Bedard: “The book, still untitled and unwritten, will be part memoir and part Cruz’s view of how to get Washington to work again as well as his vision of the future for the country. The 43-year-old has quite a story to tell, being the first Hispanic to serve as Texas solicitor general and as Texas' senator. Elected in 2012, he has also been in the middle of several major fights in Washington, including last year's government shutdown and the continued efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Gray loses D.C. primary (from CNN’s Dan Merica): “Washington Mayor Vince Gray will not win a second term in office. The mayor, who has been dogged by ethics questions since his first campaign in 2010, conceded defeat early Wednesday morning to D.C. council member Muriel Bowser in the district's Democratic primary. And shortly after Gray's remarks, Bowser claimed victory in the primary contest. According to the District of Columbia Board of Elections, Bowser captured 44% of the vote, compared to Gray's 33% with 127 out of 143 precincts reporting. A spokesman for Bowser had declared victory for the council member earlier in the night, but Bowser waited for the mayor to speak before she gave her acceptance speech. In a speech focused on his four years of leadership, Gray thanked his supporters, congratulated Bowser on her successful campaign and stressed the need for his supporters to get behind the right candidate in November's general election.”

Related: Incumbent mayor concedes defeat in D.C. primary

Should the U.S. release spy to kick-start Mideast talks? It certainly seems like the administration’s tone on Pollard has changed as it deals with a stall in talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But there is growing concern on Capitol Hill - his freedom, said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, shouldn’t be offered just to get talks started without any commitments toward a final peace deal.

“This was a major betrayal and I’ve followed it over the years. It’s one thing if there’s an agreement. It’s another thing totally if there isn’t,” she told the Daily Beast.

Related: 27 years later, Pollard case remains diplomatic thorn


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Dick Cheney • Inside Politics • Obamacare • Paul Ryan • Uncategorized
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Guest

    And, where is the GOP plan to replace it?

    April 2, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. rs

    These dummies don't get it.
    Fact:54 votes (symbolic at that) to repeal the ACA.
    Fact: There are now more than 7 million American citizens enrolled with health Insurance companies.
    Fact: The GOP has nothing to replace the ACA with- they wasted the last 5 years (no doubt on those 54 highly symbolic votes-that cost taxpayers $1.5 million apiece) do nothing about making health care more affordable, or more widely available.
    Fact: The tired Ryan budget contains: tax cuts for the rich (that don't grow the economy); tax cuts for corporations (ditto); cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition and food subsistence support, and unemployment compensation. Oh, and a whopping increase in Defense Spending (at a time when our defense budget is the biggest in the world by nearly a factor of 10).

    Anybody see a solution in there? Me, I see the same failed economic theory of Mr. Reagan, and Mr. G.W. Bush.

    The GOP= the "dead end kids" of America.

    April 2, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    jimmyjo

    The obama admin passes a law saying you have to sign up and then is proud 7 thousand signed up? I dont get it. 40 million didnt have coverage before now. What happened to them?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That was the goal for the first year – and they surpassed it! You do realize, don’t you, that you can still buy health insurance on the exchange. It didn’t just shut down and go away on March 31. However, if you hadn’t already started the enrollment process by March 31, or if you did start it but don’t finish by April 15, you’re subject to a tax penalty on your 2014 tax return. But even then, you can STILL purchase insurance on the exchange. However, if you haven’t completed the enrollment process by the end of 2014, you will be subject to a tax penalty on your 2015 return, and so on, and so on until you get sick of being penalized and learn to take responsibility for yourself.

    April 2, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. The REAL Truth...

    @Guest – And, where is the GOP plan to replace it?
    ----------------------
    I mentioned it earlier.. HR3121 – it full of the usual GOP solutions.. Repeal ACA, Repeal RVw, repeal medical malpractice. You should read it.. it provides a couple of minutes of hilarity.. the lets them blame Reid for tabling legislation that never stood a chance in the Senate.. much like Ryan's latest budget fiasco!

    April 2, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    smith

    Its to late to repeal the law, that time has passed. We need to make changes to law to make it better and make it work as it was envisioned by Obama. First, get rid of the part that allows 18-26yr. olds to stay on their parents policy. Second, reduce the cost of malpractice insurance (This a huge part of high premuims). Third, personal private plans and work related plans should not have to be regulated or changed due to ACA guidelines.
    -------–
    Maybe if the government would stop thier practice of low-balling reimbursements to providers of service under Medicare and Medicaid, the providers could stop taking losses on those patients and passing the cost on to holders of private insurance. That's a huge factor in premium rate increases.

    April 2, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "A "new job" is a "new job". A "new hire" is a "new hire". See the difference?"

    No... I guess I don't. 300,000 people no longer working every month due to retirement. On the surface it would seem that those positions need to be filled by someone – this "new hire" you speak of. That's 3.6 million "new hires" annually. So why isn't there a labor shortage instead of recorf-low labor participation rates?
    -------------------------
    New hires are people, while new jobs are not. They're reporting on "new jobs added", not people added or hired. That's why we can see the unemployment drop when only 100,000 jobs might be added in a month. We could have 300,000 being hired, but only 100,000 of those positions are "new jobs/" See the difference now?

    I thought you were up to speed on "job creators", "prosperity", "economic growth", and all of the rest of the altruistic terms that conservatives toss around so much.

    April 2, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. rs

    Sniffit

    Hobby Lobby's retirement plans are heavily invested in pharmaceutical companies who make contraception and abortofacient drugs, including IUDs, emergency contraception pills and drugs used in abortions. They are also heavily invested in insurers who provide abortion coverage. This puts the LIE to the "strongly held religious beliefs" they claim to hold that have them suing the government for special treatment with respect to the contraception mandate in the ACA. Had they actually held them, they would also not be investing in those companies. What it reveals is that it's all just more self-serving political crap from these social conservatives...and that's why the MSM will ignore this info...because when one side is just completely and utterly full of crap, it destroys the idea that there's even a legitimate controversy in the first place
    ___________________________
    Actually, the greater hypocrisy on the Hobby Lobby front is that somewhere north of 90% of the stuff they sell comes from China- whose workers, one must assume, Hobby Lobby is will to support the right to have abortions through their contacts and salaries.
    These toads support more freedom and rights in China, than they do in the United States(!!).

    "Strongly held religious beliefs" my.... foot.

    April 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. rs

    jimmyjo

    The obama admin passes a law saying you have to sign up and then is proud 7 thousand signed up? I dont get it. 40 million didnt have coverage before now. What happened to them?
    ________________________________
    The irony about your complaint is that the so-called "personal responsibility clause" so often sited by Right-wingers as what's wrong with the ACA was put there by the demands of the GOP. The Heritage Foundation cooked that up as part of the Republican Health care retort to Hillary Clinton's plan of the 1990s. They lobbied and demanded it be a part of the ACA- and so, here it is today. Funny, now the Right doesn't want people to be responsible for their own health care insurance.

    April 2, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Tom

    Republicans are betting everything on Obamacare being the key issue in the 2014 midterm election. If things change, they could find themselves campaigning on the wrong issue. As more people become part of the ACA, the less effective the GOP fear mongering will be. If something else happens over the next few months (e.g., Russia, some other world conflict, more economic issues, etc.) the ACA might not be the top campaign issue. Just remember Rudy Giuliani who, in 2008, based his whole Presidential campaign on keeping America safe. Then the economy tanked and Giuliani instantly became a second tier candidate. As for another Republican proposal to repeal the ACA, yawn. It must be Tuesday. Republicans don't have the votes to repeal the ACA. Even if Republicans win big in November, they still won't have enough votes to override a Presidential veto. The ACA is here to stay at least through 2016. The more people who sign up, the harder it's going to be to repeal it. It might be good red meat for the conservative base, but Republicans have lost this battle.

    April 2, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Silence DoGood

    The GOP is really invested in this ACA BAD misinformation campaign. They betting everything on it. As it becomes established and successful, they need to raise the stakes over and over.
    ACA can't work.
    ACA can't work that fast.
    ACA seems to work but it will break – trust us
    OK ACA is still there but really Big Bad things will happen – no really
    UM – look the really really really BAD stuff is right around the corner
    ...........Hey where is Obama's birth certificate?

    April 2, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Strongly held religious beliefs" my.... foot.

    Amen.

    April 2, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. TONE

    This law will be the Republicans waterloo in 2014 trust me on this.

    April 2, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. rs

    I have come to the conclusion that the GOP and their candidates could well run the United States of America- if in fact, no one actually lived here.
    The problem with the GOP is they focus on political gamesmanship and the things they perceive as "problems", but like kids focused upon winning games at all costs, they have failed to see the impacts of their lunatic "solutions", and they fail to see the real people who are impacted by their churlish, selfish, mean-spirited philosophies.

    The GOP doesn't like Americans (or at least average ones), and only cares about those who line their pockets with campaign cash.

    April 2, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    smith wrote:

    Its to late to repeal the law, that time has passed. We need to make changes to law to make it better and make it work as it was envisioned by Obama. First, get rid of the part that allows 18-26yr. olds to stay on their parents policy. Second, reduce the cost of malpractice insurance (This a huge part of high premuims). Third, personal private plans and work related plans should not have to be regulated or changed due to ACA guidelines.
    -------------------------
    First, let's make college kids buy their own health insurance, so that they quit those elite liberal colleges and get a job.

    Second, I think malpractice insurance costs are a component of my health insurance costs. I never knew they were different. So, I can get lower health premiums by lowering the cost of malpractice insurance while ignoring the actual cases themselves.

    Thirdly, even though I said its' too late to repeal the ACA, let's pass a law that makes it not apply to any insurance policies at all. That way we can make the ACA null and void without having to actually repeal it, thereby keeping our promise.

    FIFY

    April 2, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. wendel

    if the GOP would spend as much time trying to improve jobs and wages instead of wasting tax payers money trying to repeal the affordable care act maybe we would listen. These clowns have no plan and are not intune with the majority of Americans.

    April 2, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. rs

    Tom

    Republicans are betting everything on Obamacare being the key issue in the 2014 midterm election. If things change, they could find themselves campaigning on the wrong issue. As more people become part of the ACA, the less effective the GOP fear mongering will be. If something else happens over the next few months (e.g., Russia, some other world conflict, more economic issues, etc.) the ACA might not be the top campaign issue. Just remember Rudy Giuliani who, in 2008, based his whole Presidential campaign on keeping America safe. Then the economy tanked and Giuliani instantly became a second tier candidate. As for another Republican proposal to repeal the ACA, yawn. It must be Tuesday. Republicans don't have the votes to repeal the ACA. Even if Republicans win big in November, they still won't have enough votes to override a Presidential veto. The ACA is here to stay at least through 2016. The more people who sign up, the harder it's going to be to repeal it. It might be good red meat for the conservative base, but Republicans have lost this battle.
    ___________________________________
    Your assessment is dead-on correct. Now, carry this out to 2016, and the GOP looks like the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s- and just as relevant.

    April 2, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Luc

    Do you think the insurance companies like another 7,000,000 more customers they never had before ACA. Please they love it now if they can only get the GOP to get them more money for the law they would be in heaven. GOP see you in 2024 you haven't learnt anything from 2008 and 2012. Bye Bye. Even if you take the senate in 2014 Obama will vito all the bills put forward to him like you have done since 2008. LOL

    April 2, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    TONE

    This law will be the Republicans waterloo in 2014 trust me on this.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I would love nothing better TONE, God knows these GOPers are quite adept at shooting themelves in the foot.
    Here's my fear TONE: voter amnesia.
    The GOPeeing Teatards need to continue their one-track agenda of blocking anything and everything this administration tries to do, including immigration reform, and the their umpteenth attempt at repealing a law that is helping millions.
    The voters need to be reminded why they stood in unnecessarily artificially created long lines back in 2012 in order to keep the GOP from gaining the Oval Office.
    They need to be reminded right up and until they cast their vote what the GOP has devolved into, and how low they will go to gain power at our expense.

    April 2, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. HenryMiller

    “This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working."

    Well, aside from the millions of people whose insurance has been cancelled due to Obamacare, a number that probable exceeds to the actual number who've signed up and paid. Aside from the two trillion bucks it's going to cost taxpayers over the next decade.

    Baghdad Barry can spin Obamacare any way he likes, but the principal effect of that will be to make people dizzy. When a law intended to reduce the number of uninsured actually increases the number of uninsured, it certainly isn't "working."

    And that on top of the unbelievable offensiveness of Washington bureaucrats treating Americans like we're to stupid to make our own decision...

    April 2, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. rs

    wendel

    if the GOP would spend as much time trying to improve jobs and wages instead of wasting tax payers money trying to repeal the affordable care act maybe we would listen. These clowns have no plan and are not intune with the majority of Americans.
    ______________________________
    The GOP has gotten used to "do-nothing" government. And, well, why not? They have a wonderful retirement, and a healthcare plan for life- why do anything to improve the lives of Americans, or fix the mess they left us all with in 2008?
    Breaking things is easier than fixing them- and it proves their anti-American mantra that government is bad.

    Their political lives now revolve around symbolism and radical political beliefs that mean nothing in the real world. That is comfortably supported by Right-Wing hate radio, foreign-owned FOX, and a wonderful, delusional echo chamber that never points out just how out-to-lunch the GOP really is.

    April 2, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. B.

    The GOP is destroying middle America bit by bit in every state government that they Own now.

    I have never seen a more divided country than we have now and it leaves you with a feeling of despair that even the Supreme Court has now – gone political and siding with corporate forces taking over and destroying our country.

    April 2, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. rs

    Hector Slagg

    Eh,
    My, my the Natives are restless tonight. If "Dummy" Care is so successful why many of you making despiciable remarks. Worried your "Victory" is like a Summer Solider that will fade away with the first hint of winter. And do you think Obama is speaking the truth now? Hope you have a good retirement plan. However it may already be too late.
    ______________________
    I see. Instead of signing on with a President whose plans actually seem to be working and are helping people, we should join you and your merry band of anti-American anarchists and destroy our nation. Do I have that right?

    April 2, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. TD Helder

    We got rid of slavery in this country once. We will again. I just hope it doesn't take 4 years and 750K+ dead to do it this time. I do find it ironic that it was Obama that forced us into involuntary servitude to insurance companies. Ex democrat.

    April 2, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. smith

    @Malory & sniffit- 18-26yr olds are the healthy people that will drive premuims down for the people in state and federal exchange pools. Don`t you want that? Why do you think Obama wants them to sign up.

    April 2, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. rs

    HenryMiller

    “This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working."

    Well, aside from the millions of people whose insurance has been cancelled due to Obamacare, a number that probable exceeds to the actual number who've signed up and paid. Aside from the two trillion bucks it's going to cost taxpayers over the next decade.
    ________________________
    How about some facts- because right now, the number of actual (not Koched-up) numbers of "cancelled" policies seem well within the norm for the industry over the last 10 years.
    As to who has paid, well, you'll need to consult the Insurance industry, or individual companies for that data as (you ought to know), one doesn't pay on the ACA web site. Saying that, going into March the reported figure was right about 90% of those enrolled had paid their initial fees.

    You're just using the current Fox News talking points, which are regrettably, incorrect- AGAIN.

    April 2, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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