Repeal redux

I think both Drum and Yglesias give a little bit short shrift so what will be very difficult political dynamics–especially the Medicare donut hole fix–  should the Republican actually try and repeal the law under a Romney presidency.  That said, I think they are having the better of the argument.  Drum:

First, if you repeal all the budget-related aspects of Obamacare, you’ve essentially gutted the law. Who cares if it takes a few more years to do the mopping up via amendments to must-pass bills? …

And third — well, look. Can we stop pretending to be children here? As Matt Yglesias points out, the last time Republicans had a problem with reconciliation, they just fired the Senate parliamentarian and hired a new one willing to make the rulings they needed. They can do the same thing this time, or they can skip the drama and just ask Vice President Rubio to overrule the parliamentarian. All they need is a determination that the entire law is so tightly intertwined that, taken as a whole, it’s a budgetary matter. Will they do that? Of course they will:

That is how you get things done in Washington when you want to get things done. And my view is that Republicans, at this point, really do want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They don’t like that it raises taxes, they don’t like that it spends money on the poor, they don’t like that it rolls back Medicare privatization, and they don’t like that it pushes health insurance companies in the direction of becoming regulated utilities. If they genuinely lack the votes for repeal they won’t repeal it, but they’re not going to let interpretive disputes over what is and isn’t a budgetary measure hold them up.

One way or another, if Romney wins and Republicans gain control of the Senate, Obamacare is toast.

Damn this election matters so damn much.  Stupid economy.  Of course, now that the “uncertainty” about the ACA has been removed, we should be on the path to unfettered economic growth.  Or something like that.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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