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Uh-Oh: GOP Giving Up on Obamacare Repeal?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Folks, I hate to mention this to you, but it's in the Washington Times. It is, I believe, an editorial. The headline of the story: "Bottom Line Issues Stall Republican Efforts to Pull Back Obamacare -- Republicans scored historic gains in last year's elections in part on their pledge to scrap the new health care law -- but their passion for repeal has dimmed in the face of a split Congress and the difficulties of untangling the complex legislation." This is a story about Republicans in Congress, not you. Not the voters. "Dozens of House-passed repeal bills and amendments have stalled in the Senate as Republican leaders have shied away from using them as bargaining chips in the broader spending debates that have dominated Washington this year.

"Now, 18 months after President Obama signed the legislation, the only change to reach his desk has been a relatively minor repeal of the 1099 tax reporting requirement that drew near-universal condemnation from businesses. 'By the time we got to the debt-ceiling debate, you could tell the leadership, the (Republican Study Committee), the organizations that pushed the priority agenda through our conference had turned over to the money side of this equation rather than the principled side of Obamacare,' said Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who has sponsored some of the repeal efforts. Part of the problem is the bottom line.

"The Affordable Care Act, as [Obamacare] is known, intricately wove incentives, such as expanded coverage for young adults and pre-existing conditions, together with more contentious provisions such as Medicare payment cuts and the individual mandate that requires all Americans to find coverage. Undoing the tax increases would require finding revenue elsewhere -- a tough sell in the fiscal debate -- and unraveling one unpopular part of the legislation could mean the ends of popular programs as well." You see how this is being set up? I was afraid of this. The Republicans are basically saying, "Well, you know, some people like keeping the kids on the parents' plan to age 26. Some people like that! We might have to support it -- and people like the preexisting condition stuff. We're not sure we want to repeal the whole thing."

I was afraid of this. The "passion for repealing Obamacare" has not vanished in the voters. The "passion for getting rid of Obamacare" has not dimmed among us, but the Washington Times has a story saying, eh, the passion is sort of dimmed among the elected Republicans in Washington. This never ceases to frustrate me: "Undoing the tax increases would require finding revenue elsewhere." Why? Why can't we just repeal this thing and go back to where we were before it? What in the world do we go...? If we're gonna repeal it, the tax increases don't exist, so they don't have to be replaced! What is this nonsense about replacing the "revenue" that would supposedly be lost, repealing tax increases and Obamacare?

What the hell is that? That's Democrat talk! What in the world are we thinking like that for? This really isn't complicated. They make too many things up there complicated, or they purposely want them to seem complicated. We have a piece of legislation. Now, I know parts of it have been implemented, but not nearly all. We want to repeal it. Repeal it! Send a repeal up there every month is what my suggestion was. You make them defend this every day. They haven't done that. You know, set the campaign agenda. Make Obama defend this thing, make the Democrats defend health care every month! Send a repeal bill up there. Why do they get to set the campaign agenda, which is, "Republicans want dirty water and dirty air and they want people to die and they support fiscal malfeasance on Wall Street," all this crap?

Now somebody's telling the Republicans, "If you cancel the tax increases in Obamacare you're gonna have to find ways to replace that lost revenue?" What lost revenue? "'I don't think they've given up, but I think they see that more and more people are benefiting from it and therefore I think they're trying to now talk about jobs without any real effort other than talking about it,' said Sander M. Levin, Michigan Democrat ... Repeal was a major part of Republicans' campaigns last year, and is featured prominently in the Pledge to America, the document that the House GOP issued in the run-up to the elections as their governing blueprint. House Republicans consider this pledge to have been kept. They point to the passage of H.R. 2, a repeal bill that passed the House on Jan. 19."

So I guess what the Washington Times is telling us here is that the Republicans say they've kept their promise. They offered the repeal bill. Of course it's true: They don't have the votes to repeal it, and they certainly don't have the votes to override an Obama veto of the repeal, but it appears (if this story is right) that they think they've done as much as they can and they're now off to other things and it's an "intricately woven piece of legislation." Some of it's already been implemented; there are things that a lot of people like, Mr. Limbaugh, like keeping the kids on the policy to 26, and preexisting conditions. There's some things we can't pull out of that. I don't know that we want to pull out of there. Then there's this paragraph: "Republicans also are losing steam when it comes to public opinion. A Bloomberg poll in September indicated that 34 percent of the country supports repealing the health care law, down from 41 percent six months earlier."

This is not the Washington Post. This is not the New York Times. This is the Washington Times, a conservative publication.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know what's silly about all this? In fact, this Washington Times story that says the Republicans "Well, you know, if we repeal the tax increases in Obamacare, we've gotta find a way to replace the revenue." I tell you, folks, sometimes it's more than even I, El Rushbo, can take. There is not a penny's worth of savings in Obamacare. It is not a revenue saver. Repealing Obamacare, I can't calculate the trillions we would save. Repealing Obamacare would be the single fastest, best thing we could do to trigger economic growth. Right now, if we repeal that, other policies would follow from that, of course. But repealing it successfully would have the greatest immediate impact on economic growth in the private sector than anything we could do. The idea that there's any cost saving associated with Obamacare's absurd.

This is from Harvard. It's a new study from Harvard that "finds that Medicaid enrollment under Obamacare may be far higher than the official projections." No! Don't tell me now! "As a result, the amount of federal spending on Medicaid through Obamacare could be twice as much," as they told us when they tried to tell us it would save money. "The Congressional Budget Office's official cost estimate for last year's health care overhaul projected that the law would cost a little less than $950 billion over its first decade." Remember that BS? "About half of that cost came from the law's Medicaid expansion, which was projected to enroll 16 million new individuals in the joint federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled.

"But researchers at Harvard University are now warning that policymakers should be prepared for substantial uncertainty about the true enrollment effects of the Medicaid expansion. In a paper published in the journal Health Affairs earlier this week, a team of health economists estimated that, under the law, new Medicaid enrollment could be as low as 8.5 million people, but also as high as 22.4 million people -- with additional costs to match."

So what we're looking at here, a new study from Harvard that finds Medicaid enrollment under Obamacare, which was a technique for saving money, may be far higher than the official projections. Medicaid enrollment, meaning more people signing up than we were told would sign up. Really? No! And we only learn this now. So, the amount of federal spending on Medicaid through Obamacare could be twice as much as they told us. They forecast this $950 billion in new spending, had to keep it under a trillion for the CBO. Based on this study, just the Medicaid expansion provision of the law could cost more than that. There's no cost saving in implementing this. Repealing it is how you save money.

END TRANSCRIPT

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