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Remember Republican Promises of Full Repeal of Obamacare …. Enjoy Your Lump of Coal This Christmas!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

It isn’t taking long for Republicans to walk back the promise of the full repeal of Obamacare and ripping it out of the law “root and branch” as Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell likes to say.

After a historic defeat of Hillary Clinton and a sweeping victory for Republicans up and down ticket, Republicans are giving every American a lump of coal for Christmas.

Congressional Republicans will not be giving Santa warm milk and cookies on Christmas day, they are more likely to leave him a notice that he might be getting a tax bill to cover the health care expenses of his many Elves in the new year.

The Hill reported on December 21, 2016 that Republicans are running away from repealing Obamacare taxes because they fear the consequences.

Congressional Republicans are considering holding off on repealing some of ObamaCare's taxes, according to lobbyists familiar with the discussions.

GOP lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee discussed the possibility of keeping some of the taxes in place during a retreat last week at the Library of Congress, the sources say.

Even if some of the taxes are not removed as part of the initial repeal bill, it does not necessarily mean they will remain indefinitely. Some ObamaCare taxes could be dealt with as part of a larger tax reform bill later in the year.

This would be bad news in two respects. First, it shows that Republicans are only committed to partially repeal of the unpopular elements of Obamacare. They seem to be ok with keeping the high taxes in the law because they want the money to pay for the Republican health care plan. Second, if Congressional Republicans wait to repeal the Obamacare taxes as part of comprehensive tax reform, that tax reform bill will contain less tax cuts for average Americans.

It might be time for Republicans to not make the first big fight of the new Congress, passing a budget to set the table for squishy partial repeal of Obamacare. The American people did not vote for partial repeal – they voted for full repeal and they want it on day one. If Republicans immediately cave on full repeal of Obamacare, it is going to be a very disappointing next 2 years for conservatives.

The Hill story also quotes moderate Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) arguing that the increased taxes might need to say to place because “there needs to be some source of revenue” for a Republican plan. Cassidy argued that some in the healthcare industry cut deals when ObamaCare was passed in 2009 for some tax revenues to get funneled to them in exchange for increasing coverage. Keeping in place Obamacare taxes have the support of crony capitalist health care companies who want the money. Congressional Republicans seem not to be defending the American people who must pay that tax bill – they seem more concerned about the lobbyists who dwell in the Congressional swamp.

Nobody should be shocked that the very unpopular Congressional Republican are squishing out again. Hopefully, when President Donald Trump is sworn into office he gives them a swift kick in the pants and tells them to send him a bill that fully repeals Obamacare ASAP. Left to their own devices, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not even try to send a bill to fully repeal Obamacare through the House and the Senate on day one of the new Congress.

This Hill story comes on the heels of Republicans vetting the idea in Politico that it will take 3 years to fully repeal Obamacare. Politico reported on December 1, 2016 that Republicans want a three-year window to fully repeal the measure.

Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump’s transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has even changed his lingo to “replace and repeal” of Obamacare. Cautious Republicans have gone from proclaiming “full repeal” to “repeal and replace” to “replace and repeal.” They have not even started the new Congress and they are already running way from the biggest promise Republicans have made to the American people – repeal a health care law that has led to decreased health care quality and increased prices.

We have been had!

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