A Republican Congressman predicted that the GOP will extract political concessions from Democrats should they try to delay elements of the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that Republicans won’t agree to fix the law they claim is hurting millions of constituents without a fight.
“Folks, don’t be surprised if in 30 days, or 45 days, or 60 days, it’s not Republicans who are asking for a delay of Obamacare or a delay of the mandate, it’s Barack Obama and Mark Pryor coming to us, asking us to delay it for them,” Rep. Tom Cotton (R), the GOP nominee for Senate in Arkansas, said during an event for the Benton County Republican Women on Oct. 26.
“And then the issue will be, what concessions are they willing to make, so we can delay their own disaster of a law,” he continued. Watch it:
The remarks appear to contradict GOP’s public claims that they would welcome Democratic support for delaying elements of the law that are allegedly responsible for canceling Americans’ health insurance policies and increasing their health care costs.
Since the rocky Oct. 1 rollout, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have floated possible changes to the law. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and 10 other Democrats, including Pryor, have signed or endorsed a letter to Kathleen Sebelius asking for an extension of the open enrollment period, joining ongoing efforts by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) to delay the health care mandate or role back regulations. On his campaign website, Cotton says that “a one year delay of the individual mandate would be the least President Obama could offer.”
“You will see more Democrats coming to the view that we ought to delay this,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) predicted on Thursday. Johnson said he is courting Democratic votes for his bill to expand the so-called “grandfather” regulations exempting plans in existence before the law was enacted from complying with its new consumer protections. “I’m hoping my Democratic colleagues will join us in at least passing this measure,” he told Fox News. “I know Senator Landrieu was talking about dropping her own bill…so we’ll be in discussions. Let’s face it, I think Democrats in the Senate have a real opportunity to make sure that President Obama honors that promise.”