12 June 2012

Obamneycare on the stump

GOP candidate Mitt Romney has upgraded his pledge to repeal Obamacare by now committing to replace it too.

Likely rolled out on the campaign trail in anticipation of the imminent Supreme Court decision which could potentially either repeal health care reform in its entirety or gut its main provisions (the mandate requiring all US citizens to purchase healthcare) the new campaign slogan is a n early sign of the dilemma facing the GOP.

Activist anger, which drove the rise of the Tea Party movement, has centered on health care reform for over two years now. How will the GOP appease its base if Obamacare is repealed at the same time as seeking to replace some of the popular provisions of the law - i.e. coverage for those with pre-existing conditions?

Many House Republican Representatives have called for the law to be repealed and for heath care coverage to be left to the markets with only limited federal intervention. With the issue now toxic for the Democrats and hot button for the Republicans is there any route forward post Supreme Court verdict that repeals the law to restore crowd-pleasing aspects of the Bill?

Given the dilemma it's not unfeasible that both inhabitants of the White House and Capital Hill hope, for electoral calculations, that the Supreme Court leaves the Bill intact. Obama can campaign on one of the most signifiant domestic legislative achievements in decades and the Republicans can legitimately say that they, and only they, can be trusted to repeal the despised law.