Republicans Hide Health Care Law Benefits From Their Constituents

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Two days after a Republican Florida federal court judge voided the entire health care law, the multi-front Republican war against it continues in the Senate, where members will vote today on whether or not to just repeal it, full stop.
Simultaneously, Republican members are trying to sneak grenades into the heart of the law, crafting modifications which they admit are meant to destroy it.
But that presents them with a conundrum when they head back to their states and districts and face constituents who stand to benefit from the law right now — seniors who are entitled to free checkups, and young adults, who can now stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, for example.

“I’m a practical guy. I believe redoing the bill and replacing it is the best for everybody. Until that day comes, if you have a legitimate need under the current structure, I’ll help you meet it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “It’s like the stimulus funds — I voted against it but, you know.”

There hasn’t been such partisan warfare about a bill or law since, perhaps, Republicans (and a few Democrats) passed Medicare Part D — the prescription drug benefit — back in 2003.

In a fight that in some ways mirrored the health care reform debate Democratic principals trashed the bill and the legislative process until the moment it became law. There was no talk of “death panels” but it was no secret that Democrats hated that bill, wanted to do it themselves — make sure it was paid for, close the doughnut hole, and otherwise improve it.

At the time, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was ranking minority member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s HealthSubcommittee. He was one of the Medicare bill’s most vocal critics, but he changed tone after his constituents served to benefit from it.
Sherrod Brown, member of the United States Senate.

Sherrod Brown

“I worked with senior centers. I recall I sent out missives of some kind… to seniors and senior groups to make sure that

they could benefit from this under the law, but again, making sure that the drug companies and insurance companies watching them, that they weren’t gaming the system with higher premiums and taking people off formularies, and all the things that the drug and insurance companies are pretty good at doing.”

.In Republican Ohio today, Brown sees a different dynamic. 

“All I can see is a bunch of conservative Washington politicians who have been benefiting for their whole political careers… from tax-payer financed health insurance taking benefits away from seniors and taking benefits away from families,” he said.

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Well, let’s see where the vote goes today… then maybe we can get on to funding the FAA.

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at www.897wshc.org) and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on February 2, 2011, in budget, campaign, Congress, Economics, Education, event, Finance, government, Health Care, history, Legal, Lies, News, Opinion, quote, Taxes, vote, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Republicans Hide Health Care Law Benefits From Their Constituents.

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