"Hanging In The Balance" - A Look Inside The War To Repeal Obamacare

Tyler Durden's picture

A few weeks ago we noted that none other than John Boehner, the former Republican Speaker of the House, scoffed at the idea of repealing and replacing Obamacare as he essentially predicted that Republicans would become their own worst enemy (see "Boehner: Full Repeal And Replace Of Obamacare 'Is Not Going To Happen'"):

“[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare – I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.


“I started laughing,” he said. “Republicans never ever agree on health care.”


"So this is not all that hard to figure out.  Except this, in the 25 years I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, not one time agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like.  Not once."


"And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal...if you pass repeal without replace, you'll never pass replace because they will never agree on what the bill should be.  The perfect always becomes the enemy of the good."

Now, it's looking increasingly like Boehner may have been right as the so-called "TrumpCare" attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare will face a number of challenges, starting this week, in its journey to Trump's desk.  The first challenge comes from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which is expected this week to release its score of the legislation.  The CBO is widely expected, even among Republicans, to estimate that millions of people would no longer have health insurance under the plan.  Per The Hill:

With that in mind, Republicans are already looking to discredit the office and downplay the importance of the score.


“If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this week.


Ryan, meanwhile, compared CBO scores to a “beauty contest.”


“Our goal is not to show a pretty piece of paper that says we’re mandating great things for Americans. Our goal is to get a vibrant health care system that’s patient-centered, that brings down costs, that increases choices, that has a marketplace so that we lower the costs and increase, and therefore increase the access to affordable care,” he said.

Paul Ryan


Then there are the Republican governors from states that took ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion who are also wary of the healthcare legislation.

“Phasing out Medicaid coverage without a viable alternative is counterproductive and unnecessarily puts at risk our ability to treat the drug addicted, mentally ill, and working poor who now have access to a stable source of care,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said in a statement Wednesday.


The governors met with the White House and GOP leadership about ObamaCare and Medicaid during their annual conference earlier this month, but Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said this week the resulting plan “doesn’t include anything that the governors have talked about.”


“We’ve said all along, ‘work with the governors,’ that it should be a governor-led effort and for the Congress to rely on their governors,” Sandoval said.

And then there are the conservative elements of the splintered Republican party that would prefer to simply repeal Obamacare altogether, without a replacement plan, and start from ground zero.  While Paul Ryan has guaranteed that his bill can pass the House, assuming all Democrats vote no, it would only take 21 House GOP defections to kill the bill.  That said, Republican control of the Senate is much more narrow and several Senators, including Tom Cotton (Ark) and Rand Paul (KY), don't seem all that eager to support the current iteration of the bill.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said the House GOP should “start over” on its replacement plan.


“House health-care bill can’t pass Senate without major changes,” Cotton Tweeted Thursday.


“To my friends in House: pause, start over. Get it right, don’t get it fast.”


The legislation has been criticized by at least 11 senators, including some from Medicaid expansion states who don’t want to see the expansion rolled back.


Conservatives like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), meanwhile, are backing the Freedom Caucus’s push for repealing more of ObamaCare. Paul has introduced his own legislation to repeal ObamaCare.

All political rhetoric or is Trump about to get bogged down in the swamp?  He seems optimistic...

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Looney's picture


First, repeal and replace Paul Ryan.

Then, do the same with BananaCare.  ;-)


Belrev's picture

Liberals attack Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer when he goes out to a store


VinceFostersGhost's picture



No mandates....




I'm with Rand Paul...

CJgipper's picture

No healthcare plan should include ANY tax provisions.  I'm tapped out.  Time to pay your own way.

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Which actually means the Government should not be involved. This is the only "Good" solution.

Whoa Dammit's picture

America is slowly being choked to death by special interests. At least the Roosevelt era New Deal social programs were the same for evryone. Everyone paid in, everyone benefited. Now its just the middle class that pays in to social programs, and gets no benefit from them. 

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Meh... I see your point about equal application, but America benefitted very little if at all from those programs. Perception was always polished and maintained by speeches (Fireside Chats), this was the real key to Roosevelt and his programs. Those programs never accomplished their goals and many severely damaged the structure of our Country in ways that we are still realizing. I don't think the trade-off was a good one. Especially since the Depression lingered on for a decade despite using every Socialist trick in the book to stoke the fires of the economy. Much of the realities of Rossevelt's policies were kept very hush hush for a very long time by progressive academic history writers.

Check out this excerpt from a 1939 speech by Roosevelt's close friend and Treasury Secretary, Henry Morganthau in 1939 to the US House Ways and Means Committee:

  • “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong…somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises…I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…And an enormous debt to boot!”


shivura's picture

that guy is such an ass clown--i love how "attack" means ask questions of a press secretary. who raised you snowflake?

mary mary's picture

BananaCare   :-)  :-)  :-)

RagaMuffin's picture

Which collapses first, health care or the economy?

wmbz's picture

We will just go from one steaming pile of shit to another.

If you really want to fuck something up for good, just leave it to the D.C. cesspool.

Big Gubmint, the destroyer of all things!

CJgipper's picture

Destroyer of all things except large monopolies.  The excessive regulation and overhead costs are what make the huge monopolies possible (like HCA and the 3 insurance companies we have)

Erek's picture

Follow the money. Who has the most to "lose" besides the poor bastardized public? Then figure out if there will ever be a repeal or improvements.

BandGap's picture

NCAA Basketball Tournament starts this week.

detached.amusement's picture

I dunno, I've got a wall I just painted and its sounding pretty exciting in comparison, watching it dry

mary mary's picture

A big bill like this provides Congressmen another opportunity to soak K-Streeters for really big "campaign contributions".  I predice that, after this bill fails, Ryan will be well able to go through 3 or 4 more rounds, each one duly milking K-Streeters, before finally settling on a bill that passes.  It's like "Maximum Billable Hours".

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

The games are over.  Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go try and beat my high score on cwazy cupcakes.

nevertheless's picture

The Senate is nothing but a bunch or rich traitors who are totally disconnected from the will of the American public. 


They do the will of the elites and the Zionists like AIPAC...

butchtrucks's picture

I hate sick people. They usually have themselves to blame through terrible diets and lack of excercise. Yet they want ME to pay for their healthcare. Look after yourselves you lazy fat shits. The sooner ALL socialized healthcare in this country is abolished the better INCLUDING Medicaid, Medicare and VA, the better. Ryancare is more of this same communist bullshit.

mary mary's picture

Have to keep VA.  But I would willingly give up my Medicare, which I paid into for 40 years, if the USA would throw away Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.

BigWillyStyle87's picture
BigWillyStyle87 (not verified) Mar 13, 2017 8:11 AM

Republicans never agreed on health care eh?  What about those multiple times they passed a clean repeal through the house and the senate.....do those times count......or did these cucked faggots forget about that already?

VinceFostersGhost's picture



That was easy......cause they knew it would never be signed.

crossroaddemon's picture

You don't get it, do you. I said this AT THE TIME. They were safe passing that shit because it was going to get vetoed. This stuff is way more calculated and pre-planned than you think. The Rs love the ACA; it feeds their special interests and keeps the proles from rising up because the lower classes (those most likely to rise up) get free health care and the middle classes (those who have too much to lose to rise up) pay money to said special interests. It was all a scam, and they never seriously intended to repeal.

chunga's picture

My buddy, the old farmer, has the best solution and that is to scalp all the politicians. That would fix a lot of shit.

buzzsaw99's picture

owebombercare will die on its own if you just repeal the taxes and subsidies. how hard is that?

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Trump had one chance for shock-and-awe change with Obamacare and I'll bet the DC insider handlers sat him down and told him no way. The problem with anything like Trumpcare or cutting off funding for Obamacare is that these options will both still fail and they include tacit acceptance of blame for the whole mess as if Trump had created the problem in the first place. What then? His tiny modicum of credibility on healthcare change is spent.

In today's political climate, you'd better have REAL WORLD honest-to-goodness solutions ready to go when you start barking about changing something, and know that presently any policy change reduces tax revenue or reduces Federal Government size and power are non-starters because DC is comprised of 85% global socialist, corruptocrat actors.

He should have back-burnered the issue to work on "more pressing matters", taken the political hit for kicking the can down the road and quietly worked to sabotage Obamacare and develop a replacement so he could swoop in with a real solution in the moment of fear and pain. But that ship has sailed.


Secret Weapon's picture

Health care is a states rights issue and the Feds should get the fuck out of the way and let the states innovate a new way forward.  Everything DC touches turns to shit and this is too important an issue to let them have any input.  Besides, the Fed Gov is broke ass and on life support anyway. 

crossroaddemon's picture

Ha... do you think the state governments are going to do a better job? Get real. Besides, it'd drive the states broke. They don't get to print money.

BrownCoat's picture

@ crossroaddemon,

You misread the comment. Nothing about state government doing a better job. Only that the national government is not allowed to mess with health care (or education, or...) according to 10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

detached.amusement's picture

All your analysis is missing is that once the south seceded, congress never lawfully reconvened, the name of the constitution was changed and every man woman & child has a fraudulent insurance policy taken out on them, with Washington DC now owning all the state territories merely by vagaries of language.

This is how "the constitution gets ignored" - because the original Constitution For the United States of America simply does not apply in the USA, not for the last 157 years anyway.

mary mary's picture

If you have to print money to subsidize it, then it's not really insurance.  It's a tax, and it's another welfare program.

Kidbuck's picture

Health care is an individual's issue. All government should just get out of the way.

LauraB's picture

No.  Healthcare is not a right.  Healthcare from doctors, nurses, and hospitals is a service.  A service cannot be a right because claiming someone else's service as your right makes them your slave. Making taxpayers pay for the services enslaves the taxpayers. Health insurance is also not a right because it is a product which needs to be paid for.  You do not have the right to make others pay for a product you want - whether it be at the state or federal level.  Healthcare should solely be in the hands of the individual.  Everyone should have to take care of himself and pay for any services he may need or products he may want.  It should not be within the purview of the state.

desirdavenir's picture

Given Trump's snake oil salesman words, the new health care after reform would look like "0118 999 881 999 119 7253", but is seems the political cost is too high for republicans who would like to be reelected one day...

wherewasi's picture

What is it with these former elected rep's that still feel the need to pass their opinions on to us?  Get lost Boehner!  Work on that tan, asshole.

Hagar.JD's picture

I am a conservative.  All my friends are conservative.  NONE OF US GIVE A CRAP ABOUT REPLACING OBAMACARE!


The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help. ~ Ronald Reagan

Hail Spode's picture

Yes, millions of able-bodied adults will no longer get health care paid for by borrowing against the labors of the next generation. That's not a bad thing, it's a good thing. 


PS- a good plan is not that hard, but it mostly involves repealing Obamacare and then the feds getting out of the state's way- and then how could they sell favors and reap credit for "doing something"? ....https://www.arneighbors.org/what-should-replace-obamacare/

PitBullsRule's picture

Probably won't matter what they do because when Trump gets us in WW3 with the Asians, there will be too many wounded to care for anyway.

ChemtrailPilot's picture

LMAO this is "Ryancare", not "Trumpcare". Ryan wrote the bill and is the main cheerleader for it, he owns it lock stock and barrel. Trump is definitely pro-repeal-Obamacare, but ultimately healthcare is mostly a Congressional matter, not a Presidential one. Trump is smart enough to recognize what a political quagmire healthcare is, he's not staking his political capital on the issue (which was frankly never central to his campaign anyway, which was mostly about immigration and trade).

Anyway my theory is that Trump is offering lip service support to this bill as part of some backroom deal with Ryan (in return for his support later on something that really matters, like immigration reform), fully aware that the bill is likely to die anyway. I think Trump's real goal for Obamacare is to just let it collapse this year, then start fresh with a mandate (including possible Dem support in the Senate) to make yuge changes.

And for the record, Ryancare is shit. The current system has massive problems and this fixes none of them. It tweaks a couple things at the margin and mostly just makes more money for insurers and lobbyists. The whole goal is clearly just to be able to say "we did something" even if it doesn't solve the problems.

Pigeon's picture

Ryan is nothing more than a K-Street, establishment sell-out. Not to be trusted.

roadhazard's picture

You would think it would be Ryancare but Trump has made it his.  What a moron... "health care for ALL."

roadhazard's picture

A few Trump tweets about Obama should take care of it.

Vin's picture


Subsequently, if they can come up with something that's constitutional, then they can replace.

dizzyfingers's picture

Health care (and any type of insurance) are not in the constitution. Scrap it. Defund FDA.