Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Repeal and Replace? Really? That's the plan?

So the Republicans have their latest catch-phrase as policy proposal. They are going to campaign this summer on the slogan "Repeal and Replace" health care reform. Let's look at this in detail.

Replace? With what? The Republicans LIKED THE STATUS QUO. They had from 2000 to 2006 to reform health care and all they did was a medicare prescription bill that is widely regarded as a massive subsidy to Big Pharma. They gave billions to the pharmaceutical companies and left a gaping hole in the coverage. So for the Republicans to say they are all for health care reform just not the way the Democrats did it, is just a lie for political gain.

Repeal? They have no chance of doing that. The reason the Republicans were so angry about health care reform is because it has massive distributive implications. Resources are going to be taken away from favored Republican constituencies (the wealthy and big insurance companies) and given to favored Democratic constituencies (the middle class, workers, the elderly and the poor). The only reason the Democrats were able to pull this off was because they had huge majorities in both houses of Congress and even then it was a very difficult and nearly run thing. The problem for Republicans is that now that the thing has passed, repealing it will mean REdistributing the resources - that is taking tangible benefits away from large groups of voters (middle class, workers, and the elderly). Even if the Republicans take both houses of Congress (something is very unlikely), President Obama would surely veto any attempt at repeal and would have enough support left in Congress to make it stick.

Meanwhile, the news media have run out of process stories and are finally making the content of the legislation a top story. As people learn more and more about the benefits they are going to get, they support the bill more and more.


The Law Talking Guy said...

Oh, it's a slogan they'll regret. Repeal = status quo. Replace = talking health policy. It will resonate with those who already hate Obama. But independents will ask, "what do you propose?" and the answers will be polite guffawing.

Raised By Republicans said...

That's why Obama all but said "Bring it" in response.

They'd be much better asking the "are you better off than you were in 2008" question.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It's a long way to go from "Morning in America" to "Bring Back the Night."

Seriously, "repeal and replace" is far, far too reactive a statement to be a campaign slogan. Just like "repeal Bush policies" would have been insufficient slogan compared to "Hope and Change."

Besides which, they don't want to "replace" at all, and neither do the tea-partiers. They just want repeal.

I hope they run against the past while the Dems run on the future.

Raised By Republicans said...