AP: King v. Burwell is the Life Cereal of healthcare policy
Every once in awhile I'm accused of being a little too blunt. As a blogger, I'm presumably not under the same "professional standards" of language and protocol as, say, the New York Times, the Associated Press or the U.S. Congress.
That's why it came as quite a relief to me to read this quote from an AP story in the New York Times this morning, which sums up the Republican Party's quandary pretty succinctly:
"If you win the case you actually have people who lost their insurance. You now share the responsibility for fixing it," said former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who once led the House GOP campaign committee. "And you've got a lot of pissed off people. That hurts you."
Actually, the main angle of the AP story is that the King v. Burwell case has supposedly now turned into the old Life Cereal TV commercial. You know the one:
The thinking, according to the article, is that while everyone knows that the Republican Party would actually be in deep trouble if they win the King v. Burwell case, the same could potentially be true for Democrats if they end up winning the case:
Should the Obama administration win, relieved Democrats would crow that Obama's foremost domestic achievement had stood unscathed. But some say they'd have lost a potentially powerful cudgel for the 2016 campaigns: Being able to accuse Republicans of ending the assistance and disrupting health coverage for many.
Personally, this strikes me as the worst form of cynicism, but I'm also a realist; I've no doubt that's the thinking of many a DC pundit.
I also had to roll my eyes at this passage:
Cornyn and other Republicans say the GOP is moving toward a joint House-Senate proposal to provide assistance to people losing subsidies. It is also likely to weaken some of the law's requirements, perhaps eliminating required coverage for individuals or giving states more flexibility to decide the scope of required medical coverage, Republicans say.
Translation: It would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
In the meantime, it's nice to know that I can feel free to use the phrase "pissed-off people" in future headlines without everyone getting the vapors. After all, "screw your base" didn't stop one of my entries from being used in official U.S. Senate Committee testimony...