As Republicans prepare to defund parts of the Affordable Care Act in the new Congress, conservative columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer is warning conservatives that the strategy could lead to “chaos” and “incoherence” in the health care system. During an appearance on Fox’s Special Report on Monday, Krauthammer suggested that the GOP would be better off by holding hearings to “expose” the measure and orchestrating symbolic repeal votes:
KRAUTHAMMER: I am skeptical about taking away the funds because what it will do, it will poke holes in the system. It will make it more chaotic it will allow some things to be enacted, others to be more slowly or clumsily enacted and in the end, if healthcare collapses or if it becomes utterly unworkable, the Democrats will have a way of saying ‘well, it was all these injuries inflicted by the Republicans that made it not work.’ I think the smarter approach is to simply expose to the American people what’s in the bill….I think through hearings…you’ll expose that in a better way, whereas if you try to take away the funds, in the end you’re not going to succeed, but you may end up as the fall guy if the thing falls apart sort of in chaos and incoherence.
Whether Republicans take Krauthammer’s advice — a search on Critical Mention suggests that Fox has now re-broadcast his comments at least twice on other programs — is an open question, but the party will have to decide how to proceed as early as March, once the continuing resolution passed earlier this month expires. Republicans successfully defeated a larger omnibus spending package that included some $1 billion in funding for health reform.
For now, the House Republicans plan to vote on full repeal of the law and a series of other politically charged measures which would force vulnerable Democrats to back unpopular provisions and regulations. Yesterday, TPMDC’s Brian Beutler reported that the GOP is considering holding a vote on regulations that would “achieve the Obama administration’s goal of encouraging end-of-life planning,” in an effort to breathe new life into the “death panels” debate. Republicans have also said they would also hold a vote on the individual mandate and the 1099 reporting requirement, the one piece of the law which both parties now want to repeal.