It takes 51 votes in the Senate to repeal Obamacare. It will take 60 votes to replace it. You would think that Republicans will surely repeal Obamacore with control of the House and Senate and Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
But the democrats will fight tooth and nail to obstruct the creation of any bill to replace it. The narrative floating around is the false choice of keep Obamacare or face chaos in healthcare. To the extent that Republican senators think their constituencies buy the false narrative, repeal is in jeopardy.The media will go all out to magnify that false narrative.
The Democrats created Obamacare and they own it lock stock and exploding barrel. They want the Republicans to apply a few minor tweaks, watch it continue its failing trajectory, and then blame Republicans for the inevitable.
They will do everything they can to make any replacement plan difficult to enact. They will seek to delay replacement as long as they can. Their goal is to shift the blame to the Republicans for the chaos they want us to believe repeal will create.
The difficulty is managing the transition from a federally run failure to a patient oriented private sector system. The transition is key. Replacing one federal program with another is guaranteed failure. The Democrats would love to see that.
“Agreeing to a replacement — at least at this point — would be an admission of failure of their government-control model, and it’s very difficult to see why Democrats would want to admit that in any context, ever.”
More McConnell: ObamaCare will be replaced, and “rapidly”
From Hot Air: JANUARY 9, 2017, BY ED MORRISSEY
Telling Democrats to “grow up” delivers the satisfactory response to the insubstantial posturing on the other side of the aisle. Promising that the Senate will “rapidly” replace ObamaCare after repeal provides a more substantive marker for a very difficult question. Mitch McConnell told John Dickerson yesterday that repeal and replace will not drag on for long, but didn’t get much more specific on CBS’ Face the Nation yesterday.
McConnell points out that the ObamaCare system is already in enough of a meltdown that Congress would be taking up a replacement even if Hillary Clinton won the presidency:
- JOHN DICKERSON: Let me switch to Obamacare. There’s a question of, you want to repeal it. You’re going to repeal it. What’s the– when’s the replacement part going to get there?
MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, soon. I mean, you have to both repeal and replace. And I think there– there ought not to be a great gap between the first step and the second. Look– look, you know, Bill Clinton said it’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen. This is Bill Clinton on Obamacare last year. Eight out of ten Americans either want it replaced entirely, or significantly changed. I don’t think anybody ought to think that the status quo’s acceptable. If Hillary Clinton had been elected—
JOHN DICKERSON: Right—
MITCH MCCONNELL: — they’d be revisiting Obamacare. It is in a full-scale meltdown. And so no action is not an option.
True, but if Hillary Clinton won, Senate Democrats would have a lot more incentive to participate in the replacement — and control of the outcome, too. What’s the incentive to cooperate now? It’s true that most Americans want it replaced or fixed, but the split between those two options has been fairly even over the last three years of ObamaCare’s operation.
Agreeing to a replacement — at least at this point — would be an admission of failure of their government-control model, and it’s very difficult to see why Democrats would want to admit that in any context, ever. McConnell can roll all over Chuck Schumer on presidential appointments, but the filibuster is still in place for legislation. It’s possible to repeal ObamaCare through the reconciliation process, but passing a separate replacement would almost certainly need to go through normal order. (Recall that reconciliation worked because the Senate passed a placemarker bill while they had 60 votes in the Senate in 2009-10, before Ted Kennedy’s passing and Scott Brown’s win in his special election.)
McConnell may be counting on the finality of repeal to loosen up Democrats in red states for the possibility of working together on a replacement. Once ObamaCare’s gone, something has to follow it — and Democrats will want to have some influence on that outcome. As long as Republican hands alone carry the onus of ObamaCare’s repeal, those Democrats facing tough elections in 2018 might want to be seen as less obstructionist and more pragmatic — maybe. If not, then replacement might require a Republican supermajority to succeed, which may or may not arrive in two years.