Greg Sargent finds the House GOP using debunked scandals and other nonsense as a new excuse to try to defund the Affordable Care Act:
While that's certainly noteworthy, the rationale offered in the letter for pursuing this course is also interesting:
More and more Americans are now feeling its impact - from job losses and part-time downgrades, to insurance policy changes and violations of religious liberties, to state budget strains caused by Medicaid expansions. Americans don't like these impacts. Most Americans still believe that health care should be controlled by patients and doctors, not by the government.
Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS, an agency now publicly known to have deliberately discriminated against conservative entities, pro-Israel groups, and other organizations, is charged by law with enforcing significant portions of ObamaCare. IRS enforcement of a law Americans do not like in the first place is a double-whammy that is totally unacceptable.
Nearly everything in this letter is wrong. We don't have job loss, we have job growth. 1.2 million new jobs have been created this year on pace for 2.4 million in 2013, and the economy has created 5.3 million new jobs since the end of the recession.
Although these cases are far from over, no federal court has found any religious liberty being infringed either by Obamacare or any other federal law. And it's not for a lack of lawsuits.
Medicaid is only being expanded in states that voluntarily expand the program, and the federal government pays for 90% of it. The expansion was mandatory, but the same ruling that upheld Obamacare also struck down the strings attached to expansion. If any state is suffering because of that 10% burden, it's doing so on purpose.
Health care is still being controlled by doctors and patients, not the government. You still get to pick your insurance plan (now at reduced cost for most and more comprehensive coverage for everyone) and your doctor. Your insurance provider is still the death panel that it has always been, deciding what procedures it will and won't cover above minimum reasonable standards that Obamacare has now set.
And of course the IRS "scandal" imploded once it was revealed that progressive and liberal groups were scrutinized along side conservative groups, although it should have imploded the moment it was revealed that the report supposedly showing biased behavior came with instructions: only audit conservative group application outcomes and ignore everything else. The real bias in the IRS "scandal" was the biased investigation by the House of Representatives.
The GOP is getting increasingly desperate to kill the Affordable Care Act because the mandate kicks in within five months. And once that happens, tens of millions of Americans are going to hit the insurance exchanges and find much lower prices than they did on the private market. Many Americans will find their old private plans phased out and replaced by new ones (because their old ones don't meet new minimum standards) that don't cost more money, yet provide a better minimum level of coverage.
What they fear is not being able to kill the law before millions of voters finally find out that it's a good law that's going to make their lives better, and once that happens it's game over. Obamacare will join Medicare and Social Security as the third pillar of The Great Society. Paul Krugman made the same point a few weeks ago. The GOP's biggest fear is that Obamacare will work, because then it'll never get repealed. If it's as big of a disaster as the they think, the GOP should have no problem repealing it sometime down the road.