Welcome to 2011. A new year, and a new Republican led United States House of Representatives. And what it all means is that one body of Congress will now attempt to overturn every single measure enacted during the last two years by President Obama and Democrats. Health-care reform is the first pig on the legislative rotisserie for the new House Speaker John Boehner and his merry band of rapacious repealers.
Republicans have been on the warpath over Obama's historic health care bill, and campaigned in the recent midterm elections on both repealing and replacing it. They're out there spinning their disingenuous rhetoric, trying to convince Americans that guaranteed insurance, no caps, no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, donut-hole coverage for seniors, extended care for children to age 26 are bad for them. And they're promising to replace it with something "better".
But the truth is, Republicans have no ideas. No plan. No intention to replace anything. Their goals are simple: strip away as much social services and entitlement programs for the poor and middle class as possible while putting that savings, through tax cuts, into the pockets of the rich and corporate America. It's the same old trickle-down, supply-side voodoo economics that didn't work for Ronald Reagan and failed miserably under George W. Bush. It's based on the myth that if you give all the money to the "producers" (business owners, corporations, the wealthy) and deregulate them then, unrestrained and richer, they will create jobs and growth for the masses. "You allow the private sector to have some Oxygen," as Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) pleaded on MSNBCs Hardball Monday.
But some perspective is necessary. Bush was president for eight years and Republicans controlled both houses of Congress for twelve years, from 1994-2006. During this period the GOP put forth not one single health care measure. There is no reason to believe this Republican led House will be any different. "Repeal and replace" is the biggest scam to hit Washington in years. And what's even more of a scam is how Republicans are sucking up to their newly-Tea-Party-infused irrational, radical right-wing base despite knowing there's no way on this planet they can ever repeal health care reform. No matter what the House crazies do, it'll never get past the Senate or an Obama veto.