During an appearance on Fox News on Monday, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) asserted that Obamacare “ought to be on the table” for cuts during ongoing budget and deficit-reduction negotiations between President Obama and Congressional leaders.
Echoing House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) recent op-ed calling for a repeal of Obamacare through “oversight,” Cantor claimed that the law is a bloated entitlement and burden on the federal deficit that must be on the table during budget talks:
BILL HEMMER (HOST): In these negotiations, is Obamacare being negotiated?
CANTOR: If the president is serious about joining us and fixing the problem, he ought to be putting Obamacare on the table. There is no question in my mind, that is the largest expansion of government programs that we’ve seen.
HEMMER: Can you say at the moment that that is being talked about?
CANTOR: All I can say is that the president has got to get serious and the Speaker is correct, that Obamacare is such an expansion of government spending and involvement in folks’ lives it ought to be on the table.
HEMMER: You wonder what he is willing to concede on that.
While Republicans have been full-throated in parroting claims that Obamacare is not fiscally viable, the fact is that the health reform law actually reduces the deficit by billions in the next decade and by over $1 trillion in the decade after that, and repealing Obamacare would consequently increase the national debt while taking away Americans’ health benefits.
During the interview, Cantor reiterated that the GOP supports repealing crucial Obamacare revenue-raising and cost-containment measures such as the tax on medical devices and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The device tax is part of the way that Obamacare raises funds for expanding Medicaid and issuing Americans insurance subsidies and repealing such measures would increase costs and force Americans to pay more for coverage.
Cantor is also wrong to claim that Obamacare is “wildly unpopular.” The reform law’s individual provisions have always been extremely popular with Americans, and in recent months, support for repealing Obamacare has plummeted.