Richard Manning, vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government, responded sharply to comments attributed to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wa., by the Spokesman Review.
According to the Spokesman-Review, McMorris Rodgers told the editorial board “it’s unlikely the Affordable Care Act will be repealed.” That prompted a stinging rebuke from Manning, who predicted the GOP leader would go soft on repeal of Obamacare.
Rather than paraphrase what Manning told me, I’ll post his entire statement for your review, with his permission, of course:
“I told you so” is such an ugly expression. A statement filled with self-congratulations with only muted contempt aimed at the scoffer.
Yet no other four words can express the appropriate level of dismay that those who urged Congress to stand firm and defund Obamacare have for establishment Republican Members of Congress who told us that the time was not right for repeal this past October, and that they would repeal the law when they controlled all the levers of power.
The Republican establishment assured us that we all wanted repeal of Obamacare, but we had a difference in strategy.
Even though it was obvious to anyone who has been around politics for any length of time that once a program gets beneficiaries, it becomes exponentially harder to dislodge or even reform it, the Washington, D.C. insiders knew best. Through their off-the-record inside the Beltway media efforts, the defund Obamacare effort was defeated as being nothing more than naïve.
Now, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Spokane) has revealed to the editors of the Spokane Review Journal that rather than repealing Obamacare, “We should look at reforming the exchanges.”
Unfortunately, McMorris-Rodgers’ statement is a tacit admission that the time for repealing the law has passed, and now Congress should try to fix it.
Just as Republicans spent twenty years defending Democratic Party created Health Maintenance Organizations from attempts by trial lawyers to sue them, and became viewed as defenders of medical malpractice, this next generation of Republicans is intent in tinkering with a law that was designed to fail.
The new mantra is repeal and replace, but unfortunately, what this is currently coming to mean in Washington, D.C. parlance is fix parts of the law for those industries with the influence to move legislation.
Medical device manufacturers are likely to find bi-partisan consensus that the tax on their products should be removed, while tanning salons are just going to have to bake in their increased Obamacare taxes into their prices.
House Republicans will continue to promise constituents along the way that they really want to repeal the law, but can’t as long as Obama is president and the Democrats control the Senate, attempting to string voters along through 2017.
All the while, McMorris-Rodgers’ comments reveal that by the time this alignment of the political stars occurs, the law will have become so entrenched that even modest changes will become too heavy of a lift.
This is the exact outcome that was predicted if the House of Representatives did not hold firm on the defund effort. What is shocking is that it has taken less than nine months for House leadership to admit it.
Cathy McMorris-Rodgers’ interview forces those who argued to defund to scream, “I told you so,” if for no other reason than to not allow Republican leaders off the hook for their lamentable betrayal.
As it turns out, the congresswoman says that while the paper attributed the statement to her, she never actually said it.
To be honest, the comments attributed to her took me by surprise as well, having once met and spoken with her and knowing that she has worked to repeal Obamacare. I have also met and spoken with Manning and know him to be a tireless advocate for Obamacare’s repeal.
I have been in touch with her office and they tell me the paper paraphrased her remarks. Not surprising, really…
More on this to come, stand by.
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