Two Obsessions Collide, Then Converge

As you may recall, Rep. Eric Cantor’s obsessive-compulsive desire to get the House to enact his “making life work” agenda of apples from various conservative think-tank barrels got off track when he experienced an unexpected uprising against his “Helping Sick Americans Now” bill. Since no House Democrats were available to help Cantor “cannibilize” (in the words of one of the bill’s supporters) Obamacare implementation money to prop up a transitional high-risk insurance pool offering crappy insurance at high prices, a conservative revolt based on the fear someone might think Republicans were trying to “fix” health reform was enough to get the bill yanked. Some House freshmen complained they hadn’t had a chance to vote for Obamacare’s total repeal (previously passed by the House 36 times).

Now Cantor’s offering another Obamacare repeal vote for the freshmen, and then, once the red meat is fully devoured, he can finally get Republicans to vote for his let-em-eat-bad-insurance bill.

This is, unfortunately, what passes for a “health care policy debate” in the GOP these days.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.