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Posted by on Mar 3, 2010 in Health, Politics | 8 comments

Gregg Proposes Repealing Health Care Reform (before it has even passed)


Prominent Republican Senator Judd Gregg has a new battlecry: Repeal health care reform. Of course there is a teenie-weenie problem:

Health care reform hasn’t even passed yet.

The Hill reports:

A top Republican senator on Wednesday proposed the possibility of repealing any healthcare law that is passed by congressional Democrats using the reconciliation strategy.

Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said it is not surprising that Democrats would use reconciliation to pass their healthcare bill. The parliamentary technique would require only 50 votes plus a tie-breaker by Vice President Joe Biden, instead of the 60 votes that would be required instead.

Gregg said Senate Democrats are pursuing the conventional wisdom strategy of persuading House Democrats to pass the Senate bill, and then making requested changes in a Senate bill pushed through under reconciliation.

“The purpose is to buy votes from the liberal constituencies in the House who won’t vote for the big Senate bill because it isn’t liberal enough — even though it’s a huge bill and a massive expansion of government — and the result will be, if they’re successful, that the Senate bill will have to be signed and passed by the president,” Gregg said.

“So you’d have this huge expansion of the government in the area of spending and bureaucracy — all the problems that the health care system has now will then be law. I think that would be a real affront to the American people. The main effort then would be repealing it.

Two issues are raised by his new battlecry (which will either be taken up by talk show radio hosts or perhaps it has been already asserted by talk show radio hosts and he is just echoing it — there IS a blur these days):

1. If health care reform is passed — no matter how it is passed — and a large chunk of the public decides it likes the changes or concludes that it was not as catastrophic act as some GOPers suggest (no grandmas dying due to death panels, no Socialist flag flying over the White House or hospitals, seniors not finding they have little government health insurance benefits, they don’t lose the insurance they have etc). then it will be tough for the GOP to repeal it in the future without taking a huge hit UNLESS opinion polls show overwhelming sentiment to do so.

2. It’s a new approach to policy making: call for the repeal of legislation before it is actually passed.

It could lead to a new trend. We could see some politicians soon issuing:
–A call for the end of America’s war against Yemen, Iran, and North Korea. (Oh, what the heck, let’s throw in Upper Volta to make it four demands.)
–A call for an end to euthanasia (even though young people are the same in Asia and in the United States).
–A call for an end to gay marriage (OOPS! That’s already being done..)
–A call for an end to heterosexual marriage.
–A call to impeach President Sarah Palin and Vice President Scott Brown.

It could also encourage people to file pre-meal lawsuits against fast food chains for causing weight gain, or pre-drink lawsuits against fast food chains for coffee spills that are goig to scald them.

And more.

[Now you can follow Joe Gandelman on Twitter.]

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  • shannonlee

    Last week I wrote that Obama appears to want to move center and Reps appear to want to go in reverse.

    It looks like they want to put the car in reverse before ever turning the thing on.

    Is this what the last throws of an insurgency look like?

  • The_Ohioan

    I can’t think opinion polls will deter the Republicans; they haven’t so far. A large portion of the 1/10th of the population that will have never-before health insurance by fall will surely vote for the Democrats that gained them health coverage.

    Mr. Gregg seems to be exhibiting the same erratic symptoms that Mr. Bunning has for some time, now. I suspect it should be called the “Mad Hatter” syndrome.

    • Madness in hatters having been caused by mercury, the same toxin Bush and the GOP deregulated, makes for an interesting irony.

  • Axel Edgren

    A reminder to the US that in a meritocracy the dumber people are *not* supposed to move upwards and *gain* influence.

  • shannonlee

    Was that picture taken to purposely make it look like he has a halo?

  • elrod

    Repeal will be virtually impossible as Obama would certainly veto such a bill. More likely is a call to “fix” the bill a la the donut hole fix in Medicare Part D. And that would likely mean an expansion of the bill down the road to cover people left out by this one.

    And this, my friends, is why the GOP is so terrified of the bill. If it becomes law it changes the status quo. Just as Republicans now argue against Medicare cuts, they will in the future argue against cuts in this program. It pushes them farther away from small-government conservatism, which Bill Kristol warned would happen in 1993.

    Republicans don’t fear the failure of ObamaCare. They fear its success.

    • CStanley

      Elrod, what you describe is exactly why conservatives do oppose broad sweeping social legislation and the creation of new entitlements. These types of legislation are impossible to reverse once they are enacted. I guess I appreciate your honesty about that. In a previous post, I remember feeling that you were incorrect because my impression of what you were saying is that conservatives were making too much fuss over this because elections have consequences, as though we should just relax and then wait for electoral change to allow for adjustments to the legislation, but of course what you are now saying is exactly why we can’t do that.

      It’s quite clear that the Dem strategy is to move the issue into their corner by creating something massive enough that it will not be able to be significantly changed…even if it ends up being a freight train heading in the wrong direction.

      • dduck12

        even if it ends up being a freight train heading in the wrong direction.”

        Nah, they said they would be able to tweak it to make it perfect. LOL, what a load.
        -“Besides, the bolts on the side of his neck, don’t you think he is handsome, Igor.”

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