Five minutes after Obamacare passed, Republicans called for its repeal, but Obamacare was modeled on the Heritage Foundation plan implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. When Republicans chose Romney as their presidential nominee in 2012, it was an implicit embrace of Obamacare. The only part Republicans didn’t like was the giant slush fund for Democrat activists. When Republicans refined their slogan to “repeal and replace”, they meant modify the slush fund so Republican activists could share in the looting. The Republican House, which controls all federal spending, funded this abomination over and over since it passed. That’s not what people who really wanted to repeal it would do.
As recently as March, at the end of Obamacare’s enrollment debacle, The Washington Post reported, “The president’s health care law continues to wreak havoc on American families, small businesses and our economy, and as I’ve said many times, the problem was never just about the website – it’s the whole law,’ [Speaker of the House John Boehner] said in a statement Monday afternoon. ‘Millions of Americans are seeing their premiums rise, not the lower prices the president promised. Many small businesses are afraid to hire new workers, instead cutting hours and dropping health coverage for existing employees. Many Americans can no longer see their family doctor, despite the pledge no one would lose access to their physician. Seniors are feeling the impact, losing their Medicare Advantage plans the president promised they could keep. And taxpayers are being forced to pick up an unaffordable tab.’”
Boehner’s assessment was accurate, and on the basis of that assessment, he promised to repeal the disaster. Just a month later, he made the case that Obamacare could only be replaced with a similar big-government program. New Republic quotes Boehner, “The challenge is that Obamacare is the law of the land. It is there and it has driven all types of changes in our health care delivery system. You can’t recreate an insurance market overnight. Secondly, you’ve got the big hospital organizations buying up doctor’s groups because hospitals get reimbursed two or three times what doctors do for the same procedure just because it’s a hospital. Those kinds of changes can’t be redone. So the biggest challenge we are going to have—I do think at some point we’ll get there—is the transition of Obamacare back to a system that empowers patients and doctors to make choices that are good for their own health as opposed to doing what the government is dictating they should do.” Complete repeal would do what Boehner says he wants, but he ruled that out.
Then a predictable thing happened on the way to this election: President Obama self-destructed. Republicans no longer needed to lie about wanting to repeal Obamacare. The New York Times notes, “Republican attacks on the health care law dominated the early months of the campaign, but now have largely receded from view. The focus instead has been more on tethering Democratic candidates to Mr. Obama with a broad-brush condemnation of his policies.”
The Times continues, “Even though Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who could become the majority leader if he wins re-election and his party nets six seats, has stuck by his promise to repeal the law ‘root and branch,’ he has conceded that is quite unlikely to happen.”
Republican criticism of Obamacare, based on their own plan, has always been a charade for political gain. As economist Lew Rockwell put it, “Since the corporatist scheme was written by big pharma and its cartel allies, the GOP secretly (and now, not so secretly) loves it. In the old days, Republicans pretended to dislike Medicare, too.” Obamacare is another excuse for stealing people’s money and transferring it to giant corporations, much like Medicare Part D which Republicans passed while Bush the Younger was president. As the Mises Institute points out, Obamacare is a predictable evolution of the government takeover of healthcare both parties have advanced for a century. There’s nothing revolutionary about it.
I wonder how many times the people who fell for this Republican lie have fallen for them before and will continue falling for them.
The reason people fall for the ubiquitous lies of both parties is they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of government. Government exists to steal our money. The bigger and more powerful government gets, the richer politicians, all of whom are self-serving, become. This is why there’s no meaningful difference between the two parties except their lying rhetoric. Both parties support ever more warfare, welfare, and expansion of the size and scope of government. Because the state is an inherently criminal organization, stealing money and ordering people around at the points of its guns, it attracts the worst people in the region it controls to work for it. Government is brutally efficient at stealing our money and oppressing us while presenting the illusion of being legitimate, just incompetent.