Boehnercare (or: Why “Repeal and Replace” Is So Obviously Stupid)

January 17th, 2011

A follow-up to Resuming Thoughtful Consideration, inspired by Bring on the health-care fight (Washington Post 1/04/10), CBO: Health repeal would deepen deficit (Washington Post 1/07/11), GOP lacks clear health-care plan (Washington Post 1/16/11), and After Promising To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obama’s Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement (Think Progress 1/16/11). Agree that repealing healthcare reform is a dumb idea? Call Speaker Boehner at 202/225-6205 to tell him that, then click on this Organizing for America link to register your call.

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” – Syme in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

Death tax, death panels, Taxed Enough Already, and now… Repeal and Replace.

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.” – Principles of Newspeak

Democrats should rejoice in this latest attempt by Republican pollsters to frame the Healtbhcare Reform Part 2 debate through clever terminology. Yes, Frank Luntz and company are good at this kind of thing, but whoever came up with this doozy should be sent back to the minors.

“Name a thing, and you control it.” – Old saying

Admittedly, the GOP masterminds who coined this particular catchphrase had their work cut out for them: If you screamed at the top of your lungs for over a year that healthcare reform was radical socialism being rammed down America’s throat, you’re forced to say that you’re still against it now that it’s enacted. But what do you do when even the voters you convinced healthcare reform was the Work of the Devil start to realize that they like most of what’s in the bill and actually want the system to be reformed? It’s too embarassing to admit you were lying all along and that  reform’s not too bad after all. The solution: keep harping on your “repeal” theme, but add a promise to replace that horrible new system with a better one. No need to specify what that “replacement” will be, just like there’s no need to list all the specific ways that Heaven will be awesome. Just trust us, Republicans say: our new-and-improved healthcare reform will be great, and nothing like Obamacare. Boehnercare, anyone?

Means we don’t care.

But unlike other clever GOP catchphrases, this one is doomed to failure. Why? Because it is so patently idiotic that only complete idiots or complete ideologues will be convinced to take up the “Repeal and Replace” banner.

With ‘Repeal and Replace’ Republicans are doing what they do best—
Coming up with a nationwide IQ test.

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence and/or knowledge of the political process knows that if faced with a complex law that you dislike parts of, you never chuck the whole thing and start over. Instead, you work to amend the law, modifying or removing the parts you don’t like while keeping the parts you do.

“Americans have legitimate concerns about the cost of the new health-care law and its effect on the ability to grow jobs in our country. But instead of addressing those concerns, we’re just going to throw the whole thing out.” – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Take the legal system, for example. Is criminal law perfect? Very few people would argue that it is. So why not repeal the whole shebang and start over? Who cares if in the interim, robbery, rape, and murder would all be legal, and society would be at the mercy of all the robbers, rapists, and murderers that we’d have to wait to arrest and prosecute until new improved laws were passed.

Even Big Health is starting to see the light,
Yet Republicans are still fighting yesterday’s fight.

Even the health insurance industry is starting to come around and realize that Obmacare won’t be that bad. But the parts Big Health and its Republican lackeys like best aren’t what the American public likes. The only thing the insurance industry really, really likes is the individual mandate – ironically the least popular part of healthcare reform, in there to make the rest of the program fair to the insurers and sustainable as a private sector system. Ironically, if the individual mandate (which Republicans conveniently pretend to hate) weren’t already in there, they’d be clamoring to put it in.

“Hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue.” —  François de la Rochefoucauld

Compounding the idiocy, a CBO analysis requested by Speaker Boehner has revealed that repealing Obamacare would cost the country $230 billion over the next 10 years, and even more thereafter. Care about the deficit? I guess not.


Here’s Hardball’s 1/03/11 panel discussion on the GOP goal of repealing healthcare reform.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s conservative columnist Billy Kristol on Fox News Sunday explaining what healthcare reform will be repealed with. (Short version: he doesn’t.)

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4 Responses to “Boehnercare (or: Why “Repeal and Replace” Is So Obviously Stupid)”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Unreal Repeal Says:

    […] follow-up to Boehnercare, inspired by the Senate vote for 5:00 or 6:00 this evening on the Republican healthcare repeal […]

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » A Drop in the Bucket Says:

    […] since repealing Obamacare would cost the Treasury $230 […]

  3. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Get Your Big Government Out of There Says:

    […] GOP wants to redefine where that restriction is […]

  4. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Takeaway Message Says:

    […] follow-up to Not Raped Enough, Boehnercare, and Unreal Repeal, inspired by Abortion debate heats up in House (Washington Post […]

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