Voters are disgusted with the Republican failure to kill ObamaCare

Voters are disgusted with the Republican failure to kill ObamaCare
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As the clock winds down on congressional Republicans’ chance to repeal ObamaCare without threat of a Democrat filibuster — the Senate parliamentarian ruled two weeks ago that the opportunity to repeal ObamaCare via reconciliation will expire on September 30 — I’m going to do in this column what I only rarely do: Directly share comments I’ve received in recent days about the issue from Tea Party Patriots supporters across the country.

I’m taking this extraordinary step because I simply don’t believe congressional Republicans understand the depth of the anger felt by their supporters about their failure to keep their promise to repeal this odious law.

Of course, we’ve known for years that the Washington elites are out of touch with the struggles of average Americans. Seven of the 10 richest counties in the country are found in the Washington, DC suburbs, after all. They’re totally insulated from the burdens they impose on their constituents.

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And when it comes to ObamaCare, as if the exceptional status they enjoy simply as denizens of the Washington Establishment isn’t bad enough, they found a way illegally to exempt themselves from the true financial costs of the law, by falsely claiming that Congress is a “small business” that employs 45 people.

 

So as they now “pivot” to tackle tax reform, they should remember that for most Americans, the rising costs of health care imposed by this outrageous law – with premiums, deductibles, and co-pays all going through the roof — will likely still outweigh any tax cut the average citizen will receive.

By failing to repeal ObamaCare and its out-of-control price increases, the Republican-controlled Congress leaves in place a hidden tax – a mandatory payment we must make under penalty of law — that affects all of us.

But I digress.

Here, edited only for clarity, are comments directed to me in response to a recent email Tea Party Patriots sent out to its supporters, inviting them to join us for a Facebook Live session to discuss the new Graham-Cassidy bill:

Jonathan M., from Southlake, Texas, simply wrote, “Zero interest in a partial solution. All the best.”

Leo B., from Schertz, Texas, wrote, “I’m not supporting any plan that doesn’t clearly say: 1. NO care for illegals 2. NO exemption including Congress 3. NO mandatory enrollment 4. 100% free care for veterans.”

Ronald C., from Greenville, Tennessee, replied, “NO – WE voted for REPEAL, NOT fix ObamaCare.”

Faith R., from Grass Valley, California, wrote, “I am outraged that we are not completely repealing ObamaCare!!! Get rid of it. That’s what we voted for.”

Cristine K., from Grand Blanc, Michigan, wrote, “ObamaCare must be completely repealed! They have to try again! Why can’t McConnell put it back on the schedule? Get it done. Twist McCain’s arm – his state is hurting! No socialized medicine! Huge mistake!”

William P., from Petaluma, California, wrote, “Just cancel entirely all this unconstitutional Bull Crap. No matter how I read the document, I find no authorization for Federal intervention into the health matters of its citizens. Dump ALL the bureaucracies .. Leave all health issues at the private sector where it belongs.”

Tom S., from Las Vegas, Nevada, wrote, “If the Republican Party doesn’t get behind President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE, one of two things will happen. President Trump will solicit the Democrats again or secondly, the vote fails to pass and the Republicans lose whatever is left of trust they have from their base. I’m fine with either way. This is about the American people … we demand better treatment from our elected officials! We want better health care, less government spending, tax cuts and reform, better paying jobs and safety from the threat of terrorism from in and out of the country.”

That’s seven responses, out of thousands of emails we receive each week from our supporters. Trust me, these seven responses are representative of the rest.

The conservative activists who worked their tails off to put Republican majorities in the House and the Senate, and who worked to put Donald Trump in the White House, are outraged.

And they have every right to be. I share that outrage.

The promise to repeal ObamaCare isn’t like any other campaign promise ever made. It was the centerpiece of GOP congressional campaigns in four straight election cycles. There’s not a single Republican in the House or Senate who got there by declaring his or her support for ObamaCare – in fact, exactly the opposite is true. I cannot find a single Republican in either the House or Senate who did not promise to repeal ObamaCare.

Yet it remains intact, and it appears the congressional GOP “leadership” is content to simply acknowledge its failure and move on.

Based on the feedback I am hearing, Americans, still struggling under the weight of the law, don’t have the luxury of simply shrugging their shoulders and moving on.

If GOP leadership fails to align its legislative priorities with its voters’ highest priority, Republicans are going to have a lot of explaining to do in next year’s election.

Jenny Beth Martin (@JennyBethM) is president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.