As I noted in my earlier post, the current push to get an Obamacare repeal bill through the House is basically sacrificing the electoral future of House moderates to achieve blame shifting purposes for the ‘Freedom Caucus’ and the White House. It seems up in the air now whether it’s going to be possible to get enough moderates to give in and hold a vote. But there’s something else to keep in mind regardless of the outcome.
By going back to the repeal trough again and again, Republicans are allowing Democrats to plausibly argue in 2018 that Republicans will keep coming after your health care coverage as long as they’re in power. This is now demonstrably the case.
If things had gone differently, embattled Republicans in 2018 might have argued … well, sure, that happened but Democrats are just trying to rehash something from the past that everybody knows is done with, no longer going to happen. In 2006, pretty much everyone realized that Republicans weren’t in any mood to try to partially phase out Social Security as they had attempted to do in late 2004 and early 2005. That reduced its political utility – though Democrats didn’t end up needing any help.
With Republicans trying to do this again and again, Democrats will be able to say: They tried to take away your care, kill pre-existing conditions protections etc. And they’re going to keep trying. My moderate GOP opponent here, do you trust him/her?