Since Obama took office, the Republican party, especially in the House, has repeatedly refused to vote for policies that they themselves support. Here’s another example. Now they’re refusing to fix a minor glitch in the health care reform bill that they would otherwise strongly support because they’re so intent on killing the entire law (which they cannot do).
Sahil Kapur has an insightful report showing just how this plan of action is working in practice. One of the glitches to emerge in Obamacare is that it does not deem many church health-insurance plans to be fully qualified under the law. As written, it would make them disband their insurance plans and put their employees on to the exchanges. Churches are urging a reform to fix this flaw, and Senators Mark Pryor and Chris Coons are sponsoring a bill to do just that.
But they can’t get a Republican sponsor and have no realistic hope of attracting any Republican support in the near future. “We’re not expecting it to get a vote — at least not anytime soon,” Coons’s spokesman tells Kapur.
The reason is that Republicans are following a strategy of withholding support for any bipartisan fixes to the law. They will vote to repeal or undermine Obamacare, but they won’t support any changes intended to improve its functioning. It’s a pure Leninist strategy — heighten the contradictions to help hasten the collapse they are certain is inevitable.
The same strategy undergirds the Republican campaign to refuse Medicaid. This is a pure case of pain-infliction by Republican-controlled states. They are turning down the federal government’s offer to pay 90 percent of the costs of Medicaid expansion, and thus leaving their poorest residents uninsured, as a sadistic display of resistance to the dread Obamacare…Where this policy is likely to hurt Republicans, though, is with organized interests. Uninsured people who could be getting federally financed health insurance will still be showing up in emergency rooms and getting access to care, which hospitals will be on the hook for. Now we can add churches, who will be seeing their health plans taken away. If they go to Republican elected officials seeking a solution, they’ll be told they won’t get any because Republicans are holding out to repeal Obamacare. There’s only one party that will be endorsing practical solutions. Republicans will be completely locked out by their insanely spiteful refusal to work within the contours of the new health-care law.
The fact that this behavior has not hurt the GOP more than it has can’t be a healthy development. But if they actually do manage to force a government shutdown over Obamacare, it will boomerang on them in a big way.