On New Year’s Day, a range of elements of health insurance reform kicked in. The prescription drug “donut hole” for seniors begins to close, joining already in-effect provisions like a ban on discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions & the new right parents have of keeping their children on their family insurance plans until they’re 26 years old. Another new provision clamps down on insurance company waste, fraud & profiteering (wonder why we don’t hear Rep. Frank “Fraud Peacock” Wolf praising that?).
House Republicans are pledging to make stripping all those protections one of their top priorities:
“As part of our pledge, we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal healthcare early,” Upton said. “That will happen before the president’s State of the Union address. We have 242 Republicans. There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House last March, it only passed by seven votes.”
Conservatives have a long history of making their own reality & this is only the latest example.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) seems particularly untethered to real life since he began his campaign for hard-right support as chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. I mean, when even Fox is calling Upton out for flip-flopping, you know he’s losing it.
What Upton chooses to ignore is that the vast majority of Democrats who voted against health reform were defeated in November. Of the 34 Democrats who opposed health reform, just 13 will be returning to Congress this month. The rest retired or, like Virginia Democratic pariah Glenn Nye, were defeated. Now Nye’s supposed to help Upton build his veto-proof coalition?
What’s most bizarre about the GOP’s health insurance reform effort? Last year, they accused Democrats of taking their focus off the economy by working on improving health care. Now, with the economy still struggling, the GOP is making it clear that jobs will take a back seat to partisanship:
“They’re talking about wasting time repealing health care, when they know that the Senate and administration won’t go along with it. Don’t waste time. Create jobs,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
What’s President Obama’s advice to Republicans? “I say go for it,” Obama famously said of GOP efforts to repeal the new health care protections. “I welcome that fight.”