Tying Obamacare to the Train Tracks

by Mark Wilson

Will Saletan at Slate discusses why the Republican threat to shut down the government over Obamacare is outrageous:

They’re planting the assumption that the reasonable, moderate, even-handed thing to do is to “negotiate” a “compromise” between the Democratic and Republican positions on the Affordable Care Act. What they’re hiding is the absurdity of the Republican position: that a law passed by both houses of Congress, fully debated in a subsequent presidential election, and unsuccessfully challenged in more than 40 legislative votes by the losing side should be subject to repeal, defunding or delay because a single party, narrowly controlling a single chamber of Congress, otherwise refuses to fund the rest of the government.

This is exactly right. When Rand Paul asks, “Why don’t we actually bring it to Congress and try to figure out how to meet somewhere in the middle?” he’s intentionally ignoring something important. “We”—meaning Congress—have already “brought [Obamacare] to Congress” in the form of a vote that passed the legislation. Radical Republicans like Paul and Ted Cruz want a do-over on Obamacare simply because they have more leverage now than they did in 2010. But it’s beyond disingenuous to pretend that this is the first time we’re having a necessary conversation about Obamacare. We had that discussion. They had their chance. Now it’s over. They lost.