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Weekend Reading: Josh Barro: Healthcare: Republicans Lied. They Deserve Punishment

Clowns (ICP)

Weekend Reading: Josh Barro: Healthcare: Republicans Lied. They Deserve Punishment: "It's hard to decide which would be the more politically damaging outcome for Republican politicians...

...passing the American Health Care Act, and therefore owning the premium increases and coverage losses it would cause; or not passing the bill, and therefore failing to... "repeal... Obamacare." Each option is a political nightmare... an admission that Republicans cannot deliver what they have promised....

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....

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....

I want to draw a distinction between healthcare and most other issues.... I think the tax debate is mostly conducted in good faith: Republicans sincerely believe taxes are bad morally and bad for the economy.... Republicans say they oppose abortion... vote for restrictions on it... nominate conservatives to the bench. The Republican Party is not wholly in the business of claiming to be for one thing and then doing another.

The difference on healthcare is that Republicans... were willing to lie.... The need to actually make policy is exposing the fact that Republicans made many healthcare promises they never intended to keep.... But in my view, the most galling lie was about Medicare.... Republicans... made opposition to Medicare cuts the centerpiece of their (successful) 2010 campaign to retake the House of Representatives.... But once Ryan was actually in a position to shape legislation on healthcare that might become law, he decided to leave the Medicare cuts in place, because he would rather have the money for tax cuts for rich people....

Through the years, healthcare experts on the right have allowed themselves to be used as window dressing for a party that was never actually interested in taking their policy advice.... Experts would write white papers.... Republican politicians would indignantly wave the white papers around.... But those white papers were always just paper. The plans described in them were never going to be implemented by an actual Republican government.... The only thing Republicans ever intended to use them for was indignant waving...

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