Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lies And Punishment

The House is going to vote today on the GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, but chances are pretty good that the bill will fail to get enough votes to pass.  If it does pass, it will be a watered-down mish-mosh of a fustercluck that will leave millions of people without insurance and those that have it will have to pay more while the rich get a nice tax cut.

Aside from the damage it will do to the American people, it will also be a really bad thing for the Republicans.  And it doesn’t pass, it will be a really bad thing for the Republicans.

Josh Barro explains:

For years, Republicans promised lower premiums, lower deductibles, lower co-payments, lower taxes, lower government expenditure, more choice, the restoration of the $700 billion that President Barack Obama heartlessly cut out of Medicare because he hated old people, and (in the particular case of the Republican who recently became president) “insurance for everybody” that is “much less expensive and much better” than what they have today.

They were lying. Over and over and over and over, Republicans lied to the American public about healthcare.

It was impossible to do all of the things they were promising together, and they knew it.

Then they unexpectedly won an election and had to face the question of whether they would break all of their promises — or only some of them.

If the AHCA passes, Republicans will have delivered on a couple of promises: lower taxes (mostly for people who make over $200,000 a year) and lower public expenditure (mostly because of Medicaid cuts, the main reason the bill could leave 24 million more Americans uninsured). All the rest of the promises will be broken.

And if they don’t pass the AHCA, well, then they’ll have broken all of the promises.

Either way, Republicans will have to face an angry electorate in 2018 and 2020 that did not get what it was promised. The exposure of Republican healthcare lies will do grave damage to the party, and that damage will be richly deserved.

The one thing that the GOP has going for them is short-term memory loss on the part of the electorate.  If the bill fails to pass, Obamacare will still be in place, people will not lose their health insurance, and the Republicans will move on to something else.  They will find another distraction or two — hey, what about Benghazi!? — and by the time the 2018 mid-terms come around they’re going to campaign on — wait for it — if you like your healthcare, you can keep it, assuming they bring it up at all.

The reason the Republicans can get away with lying about so many things is not because they are good at it or that the voters are so forgiving.  It’s because it’s what is expected of them and it’s no big deal when they do it.