(Fred Weinberg) – So I wake up last Friday to see that former GOP House Speaker John Boehner told America that Republicans in Congress won’t repeal and replace Obamacare.
“They’ll fix Obamacare, and I shouldn’t have called it repeal and replace because that’s not what’s going to happen. They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it,” he told a healthcare conference. That’s Boehner-speak for nothing is going to happen. He’s good at doing nothing which is why he’s also no longer Speaker.
Well, let me tell you the story of what happens to Republicans when they screw the people who voted them into office.
Allow me to tell you the story of the 2015 session of Nevada’s state legislature.
The 2014 election swept Republicans into control of everything in the state.
All of the constitutional offices, majorities in both houses of the legislature and a Governor who was preening (in his case hair and teeth) to become a Vice Presidential candidate. (Oprah had a better chance at VP.)
I should also mention that Nevada has a protection embedded in its constitution against new taxes and tax increases. They must be passed with a supermajority 2/3 of both houses or put to a vote of the people.
In this state, that is a big hill to climb with a large Republican majority. Or, so you might think.
So, 2015 opened with great optimism.
Until arguably the worst Republican Governor in the country gave his state of the state speech. When the subject of education came up, he sounded like Lyndon Johnson introducing the War on Poverty and the Great Society. He needed so many million for this and so many more million for that and everybody knew (well, everybody HE knew) that more money buys more education so the end result was we needed more tax revenue.
And the net result of that was the largest tax increase in the history of the state.
In the words of my red nose Pit Bull, Buddy, “Rut Ro!”
But wait, you say. Didn’t they need a supermajority?
They did. And together with tax-happy Democrats, they got it.
So you know what happened? Come 2016 there was a red wave. Donald Trump was elected President. The Republicans held the House and the Senate. States which hadn’t gone Red in years voted Republican.
So now it’s 2017. Our state’s founding fathers—and I’m not talking about Bugsy Siegel or Tony “The Ant” Spilotro or even Frank Sinatra—wisely only let the legislature meet every other year for 120 days unless they’re kissing up to the Oakland Raiders and want to build a stadium in a special session. The 2017 regular session is now clogging up the bars and restaurants in Carson City.
The Republicans who picked our pockets?
Only a few are left in the legislature. There were a whole lot of disillusioned Republican voters who just sat on their hands last November.
As a result, the current legislature is busy passing the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment—40 years after it expired—and worrying about transgender bathroom issues and trying to figure out how to get around a cap on property taxes which was passed when real estate was booming. You know, because there’s NEVER enough money.
And who knows what Governor RINO will sign or veto.
Now, let me put this experience in the context of Obamacare and John Boehner.
We’ve given these clowns the House, the Senate and a President who will SIGN the damn bill.
They’ve had eight years to think about it. The truth is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to fix our health care system WITHOUT making their big donors mad. Since it was the insurers, the hospitals and the drug companies who wrote the Obamacare bill for Nancy Pelosi (“We have to pass it to see what’s in it.”) in the first place, that will be impossible. Imagine listening to them howl when Congress finally starts forcing competitive bidding for diagnostic tests and prescriptions in any federally backed program. Or defining healthcare as interstate commerce so insurers will have to sell their policies in all 50 states to be competitive.
But, hey. You can’t fix an omelet without cracking a few eggs.
Congressional Republicans will just have to grow a pair and start representing their actual constituents.
What, exactly, do you think will happen if Congress does what Boehner says it will do?
Think Nevada in 2016.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.