As Republicans prepare to hold more votes to undermine the Affordable Care Act, a top Tea Party senator on Monday admitted that the GOP will face political backlash if it tries to undo the popular elements of reform that have already gone into effect.
Appearing on Fox and Friends, Lee stressed that with no legislative replacement for the law, Republicans are only trying to stop “further enforcement and implementation of Obamacare.” “So we’re not talking about those things [that have gone int effect], we’re talking about those that haven’t kicked in yet,” he stressed, adding that a small group of conservative lawmakers have committed to voting against any additional funding for the law. “We’re talking about the individual mandate, the exchanges, the exchange subsidies and so forth.” Watch it:
Almost a million young people have become insured by enrolling in their parents’ plans and millions have received rebates from insurers that are now required to spend a greater percentage of enrollee premiums on health care services. Seniors have benefited from the closing of the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole and others still are taking advantage of preventive health benefits at no additional cost.
Lee is now admitting (he had urged complete repeal as recently as March) that those benefits are here to stay and that the GOP’s only chance of undoing the measure is to go after the parts of the law that are still outstanding. But with the exchanges set to open up for enrollment on October 1 and coverage to follow in January, that window of opportunity, as the Republicans see it, is closing fast. As one White House official told ThinkProgress during a meeting with progressive reporters earlier this month, as individuals visit the online portals — either because they are uninsured and want to purchase coverage or are merely curious about “Obamacare” — they will likely tune out the political noise and become engaged in a deeply personal consumer experience. By then, the chances of repeal or delay may dwindle even further.