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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

 
GOP Senate candidate: Obamacare is a "great idea that can't be paid for"

by David Atkins

Greg Sargent makes a great catch today:

The other day I noted that Thom Tillis, the expected GOP candidate for Senate in North Carolina, has been struggling to explain his stance on Obamacare — he knows repeal is a non-starter because the goals of Obamacare remain popular, but isn’t willing to embrace any alternatives. Tillis’s equivocations — which capture the problems with the GOP repeal stance in general — have taken a pounding in the North Carolina press.

Now North Carolina Dems have unearthed a radio interview Tillis gave which again illuminates the problem here. It contains this wonderful quote about the ACA:

“It’s a great idea that can’t be paid for.”

In the interview, from February, Tillis insists he’s gung ho for repeal, saying: “If we could effectively nullify and repeal Obamacare in North Carolina, we would do it.” Then, asked whether he supports home state Senator Richard Burr’s replace plan — the leading GOP alternative — Tillis demurs. But he confirms he supports “dealing with preexisting conditions” and “dealing with some sort of safety net for people with catastrophic loss,” adding that “Republicans want to solve the problem” and that “we’re not just saying No to Obamacare.” Then he says:

“I think there’s a lot of things we can do if we focus on a systemic approach to eliminating the bad, and the majority of the stuff that is in Obamacare is bad, because it’s not fiscally sustainable. It’s a great idea that can’t be paid for.”
The ACA can be paid for, of course. It's a matter of priorities.

But that's not the point. Increasingly, Republican candidates are coming up against the fact that ACA has already improved the lives of millions of people. The public still doesn't fully trust the law, but an expanding majority doesn't want it repealed. The "repeal" mantra is increasingly becoming a millstone around Republican necks.


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