Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (R) joined outgoing Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) today in calling on Republicans not to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. During an appearance on CNBC this morning, Thompson — who also served as President Bush’s Health and Human Services Secretary — insisted that Republicans wouldn’t have enough votes on to override a veto of a repeal bill and suggested that the party should give the law a chance to be implemented:
THOMPSON: When it’s all said and done, you’re not going to be able to repeal health care because President Obama is not going to sign it. And they don’t have enough votes to override a veto, so why push a cart uphill when you know it’s not going to be able to get to the top? [...]
There is no question that people are very frustrated with health care, but I think the problem is, health care is still being written. There is so much that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, has got to put together in the rules that most people are just bewildered by the magnitude of health care and how it’s going to play out. And so I think it’s going to be difficult, really to point at any particular thing except the $600, some of the questionable things, cut backs in Medicare Advantage that people are going to be addressing. But the overall health care is going to have take a wait-and-see attitude before all the rules are done and drafted and that’s going to take a lot of months of drafting and hearings and so on, so more of the health care care process is going to be taking place in the administrative side of government rather than in the legislative way.
Thompson also said he believed the economy, not health care reform, was on top of voters’ minds. This sentiment strongly echoes the comments of Gregg and other party elders, like former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, who have cautioned the GOP against over-reaching to appease its Tea Party base if it regains power. (H/T: The Hill’s Mike Lillis)