JONATHAN CHAIT SEPTEMBER 8, 2010
Health care reform repeal activist Michael Tanner complains that none of the Democrats who voted against the Affordable Care Act have signed on to repeal. Meanwhile, Republicans are decidedly lukewarm:
Among the six Republicans who have not signed either discharge petition are senatorial candidates Mark Kirk in Illinois and Mike Castle in Delaware. This is particularly surprising in the case of Kirk, who once vowed to “lead the effort” to repeal the health-care law.
Meanwhile, over in the Senate, a bill by Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) to repeal Obamacare has attracted only 21 cosponsors, meaning that 19 Republican senators have not yet committed to repeal. Among the scofflaws are Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and Republican conference chairman Lamar Alexander.
Nor has repeal of Obamacare been a national Republican theme. Individual candidates have, of course, made it an issue. But national Republican spokesmen have not invested the issue with a sense of urgency.
Right. It's not going to happen. People may have been put off by the legislative process, but they believed and believe health care needs to be reformed. Going back to the status quo is political poison. That's why Republicans are keeping their distance before the elections.