By choosing to use the Senate’s reconciliation process to pass their repeal of Obamacare, which only requires 51 votes, Republicans basically said that they weren’t interested in any input from Democrats. That means that ultimately, what happens to McConnell’s bill in the Senate is all on them.
Let’s take a look at what they’re hearing from conservatives who occasionally travel outside of the epistemically closed bubble of right wing news. Avik Roy has been the conservative voice in opposition to Obamacare. He wrote his support for the Republican Senate alternative before CBO released their devastating report yesterday. You have to wonder if he’s still willing to say this:
The Senate health-care legislative draft — officially titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 — will, if passed, represent the greatest policy achievement by a Republican Congress in generations.
Roy claims that the bill will result in lower out-of-pocket costs, more competition among insurers, a more efficient and effective Medicaid program, with this as the final product:
The end result will be a thriving, consumer-driven individual insurance market, with as many as 30 million participants, available to the healthy and the sick and the young and the old, whose successes will lay the groundwork for future efforts at entitlement reform.
He probably knew that the coming CBO score of the bill would challenge those claims (it actually destroyed them), so he threw a punch early.
Credible experts on both sides of the aisle are skeptical of the CBO’s projections. The agency has yet to adjust its overly static thinking.
We might call Roy’s response the “fantasy-land” approach. Hugh Hewitt doesn’t bother with any of the particulars about what the bill will/won’t accomplish. He provides an “it’s all about the base” approach.
The political crosswinds and upheavals in the country are already beyond predicting anything, so to add even more cause for grievance by betraying the central promise of the congressional GOP is beyond irresponsible. It is political insanity. Shut the door to the consultants, and throw out the polling senators. If the GOP defaults on its core promise, it is doomed as a party to minority status, probably as early as 2018 and certainly in 2020…