With polls showing that the Democrats could face significant losses in next month’s midterm elections, Republicans are openly declaring they want to stamp out President Obama’s signature legislation: healthcare reform. Dishing out a heap of I-told-you-so, blogger Digby writes that the Democrats should have anticipated the ferociousness of the opposition to reform, and prepared for it accordingly. Instead, Digby explains, the Democrats, thinking they would get a lot of credit for passing reform, didn’t do much to educate the public about the legislation and are now getting blindsided by the Republicans’ effective propaganda campaign against it. Adds Digby:
I assume that President Obama will veto repeal measures, and I would certainly assume that there will be enough Democrats left in congress to prevent an override. Funding will be an ongoing problem because of the way the program is designed, so I don’t know if Obama can maintain the levels needed to gain support and if a Republican takes office with a GOP congress, we can forget that altogether. I still think, as I thought then, that this sanguine attitude about the future of this health care bill was extremely short sighted.
Read the rest of the article here. Attorneys general in 20 states – most of them Republican – have filed lawsuits to repeal the federal law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA. They are charging that the provision forcing Americans to buy insurance is unconstitutional (of course, in a single payer system, there would be no need for an individual mandate; everyone is automatically covered). Meanwhile, here in California, healthcare reform has popped up in our own race for Attorney General between Republican Steve Cooley and Democrat Kamala Harris.
During the Republican primary, Cooley said that if elected in November, he would join in the legal effort to repeal PPACA. But Cooley appeared to walk that back during a debate with Harris last week, saying he would sue to block the law only if there was “consensus” between the state legislature and the next governor. Harris said she would not sue to block the law, and criticized Cooley for his original position. Cooley’s backtrack is interesting: he gets political cover with his base, while at the same time signaling that perhaps he knows he may not get too far politically with an anti-reform lawsuit after the elections. Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is sticking with her position that the federal law should be repealed, while Democrat Jerry Brown supports the law. Even if Whitman wins, the legislature will pretty likely remain firmly in Democratic control, so should Cooley become top California lawyer, he is going to be waiting forever for that “consensus.”