If it passes, it's just not likely to be unpassed -- here's why.
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) conceded that if/when health care reform becomes law, it's not going anywhere
"Technically it could be peeled back if the circumstances were right," Crapo said during an appearance on a conservative news radio syndicate. "But we would have to have a president who would sign such a bill, and we would have to have 60 votes in the Senate -- not just 50."
"So it would be a very tall order, and frankly, the likelihood's that that's not going to develop in the near future," he added.
That's true, but it's incomplete. Crapo's right that the legislative circumstances are almost certainly not going to materialize to facilitate a repeal, but there's also the political problem Republicans are reluctant to acknowledge.
Josh Marshall had this item this morning.
Sen. Hatch is on TV getting cornered by a host on just what in this bill he'd be for -- if he supports health care reform but just doesn't like this version of it. It was pretty comical. The host asks him whether he's in favor of barring health insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Oh, yeah, oh, we all agree on that, blah blah blah. No explanation of how you do that without dramatically broadening the risk pools.
It's not surprise. But it's worth noting once again that the Republican opposition on this whole issue is a sham.
It certainly is. It's exactly why GOP senators have ended up opposing provisions they support -- it's about blind, reflexive, reactionary opposition. Listening to the floor debate over the last several weeks has only reinforced the notion that Republican opposition is a sham -- their rationales boil down to lies or trivia (and occasionally lies about trivia). This week, there have been more than a few instances in which it seemed Republicans no longer remembered why, exactly, they thought this was a bad idea.
And any attempt at repeal would be met by awkward questions like those Hatch couldn't answer this morning. Are they going to repeal the consumer protections? The caps on families' medical expenses? The cost-containment measures? The subsidies for families who can't afford coverage?
It's not exactly a compelling message over the next couple of cycles: "Know that health coverage you and your family will finally be able to afford? Vote for me and I'll take it away."
Tagged as: congress, gop, obama, dems, health-care reform, crapo
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
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