Now here’s a fresh angle on the demise of Eric Cantor’s high-risk pool funding bill. It’s not just that it was opposed by the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth. And it’s not just that it was a bit boneheaded to begin with to think that people with pre-existing conditions would smile on the GOP for substituting access to inadequate and expensive insurance policies for Obamacare’s flat ban on denials of coverage. According to TPM’s Sahil Kapur, there was another factor: House Republican freshmen were whining that they hadn’t had enough opportunities to register their hatred of Obamacare before addressing positive alternatives:
At a Wednesday panel organized by the Heritage Foundation, conservative Republicans lamented that it’s been too long since they had the opportunity to vote to wipe out the Affordable Care Act in its entirety — and that the newest members haven’t had the chance yet.
“We need to get a vote on full repeal, and I’ve asked leadership for this. I’m a cosponsor of Michele Bachmann’s bill … that just goes straight at it for full repeal,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the chairman of the influential and deeply conservative Republican Study Committee. “We need to continue fighting for repeal. We need a clean vote on repeal.”
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) urged leadership to hold a repeal vote so freshman members can serve up the same anti-Obamacare talking points for their conservative constituents that more senior Republicans enjoy.
“If you’re a freshman — the guys who’ve been up here the last year, we can go home and say listen, we voted 36 different times to repeal or replace Obamacare. Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say,” he said. “We haven’t had a repeal or replace vote this year.”
Wow. Not a single congressional Republican voted for Obamacare. It was demonized constantly by every available Republican during the last two election cycles. And congressional Republicans have voted to repeal it 36 times. But these dudes are apparently afraid that voters have somehow forgotten or missed the fact that Republicans oppose Obamacare.
I know they favor restricting the franchise, but I never realized exactly how much contempt a lot of GOP pols have for the intelligence of voters.