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Promising the Moon

© Tom Toles

The Republicans are still trying to repeal Obamacare. It is ironic that back when Obama was president, the Republicans didn’t have any problem passing bills to repeal the ACA, because they knew that Obama would veto them. But now, even though they control both houses of Congress and the presidency, they can’t do squat because they are too chickenshit to live with the consequences.

Despite almost a decade of lying propaganda designed to make Obamacare unpopular (remember “Death Panels”?) the ACA is so popular (even with its flaws) that the Republicans are afraid to do what they have promised their base. Instead, they claim that the Democrats are obstructionists, which is hilarious on so many levels.

They are still the party of no — they have no policy ideas of their own so everything they do is just repealing and destroying anything done by Obama and the Democrats. They claim they are making America great again, but does anyone really want to go back to the 50s (the Cold War and fear of nuclear armageddon)? Or worse. They may take us back to the 40s (WWII) or the 30s (Great Depression). At the rate they are currently going, it could be all of the above.

But now they are in a quandary. In order to cut taxes for the rich, they have to come up with some cash so they can pass the tax cuts using budget reconciliation. So they are promising everything — including coverage of preexisting conditions and lower premiums — while their only real goal is to save enough money to cut taxes for the rich. So they lie and make promises that are impossible to keep. They don’t let anyone read the bill or evaluate it and instead wait until the last minute (before Congress goes into recess for the rest of the summer) to reveal it and insist that everyone pass it.

It is not a pretty sight.

© Mike Luckovich

Also published on Medium.



  1. Hassan wrote:

    Yeah, they are chickenshit. But I would urge them if they cannot come up with bill now to repeal Obamacare, then let Obamacare collapse as it is already collapsing. Many counties have reduced to just one insurer, and it is projected many will leave.

    Obamacare was passed with 0 republican vote from house and senate, and 0 of their voters support it. In fact it was passed in budget reconciliation. So republican reps/senators/voters owe nothing to democrat only law. Let it fail!

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  2. TJ wrote:

    Hassan, you are incorrect. The ACA bill passed the Senate with a vote 60-39 and it was not done via reconciliation. A few months later the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act was passed by the reconciliation process, but that was NOT the main ACA bill and involved mostly budgetary and procedural changes to the original bill.

    The fact that 0 Republicans could find a way to engage in the debate and find compromises on a bill that went through the legislative process for over a year is 100% the fault of Republicans who were set on opposing anything President Obama tried to do from the start, whether or not it was sensible or good for the country.

    Everyone in this country should be outraged and disgusted by how Republicans are conducting themselves right now. They are trying to ram a MAJOR piece of legislation through Congress without allowing for sufficient time for review and also stifling debate. All this for a bill that is supported by 20% of Americans. This is borderline treasonous behavior. I honestly don’t understand how anyone could defend them or reconcile their hypocrisy.

    On December 23, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the bill: a cloture vote to end the filibuster. The bill then passed, also 60–39, on December 24, 2009, with all Democrats and two independents voting for it, and all Republicans against (except Jim Bunning, who did not vote).[176] The bill was endorsed by the AMA and AARP.[177]

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink
  3. Jonah wrote:

    I agree. Republicans should let obamacare fail so that the public can see the outcome and realize what they lost. There’s no better way to know who much something means to someone other than to lose and realize the hard way.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  4. redjon wrote:

    Or, if the GOP could manage to verbalize exactly what things are wrong with the ACA, then perhaps the GOP could manage to verbalize exactly how to correct each of those things… summarize their the best of their verbalization in written form and submit it as legislation, and they could actually take credit for doing something POSITIVE for a…

    Oh, never mind.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I totally agree, but would that most all politicians fall into the exact same category depending on what day it is.

    As bad as Republicans are democrats are just as bad. Neither side seems to be interested in or able to a.) fix or replace the broken Obamacare or immigration reform or tax reform or anything.
    Pelosi delusionally thinks she is the only person who matters while her party has lost 1000 seats during her tenure. McConnel and Ryan don’t seem have have a clue about what to do and Schumer acts like a cry baby.

    It looks like we need to completely clean out the swamp and replace them all with new blood.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  6. TJ wrote:

    PatriotSgt, just as bad? Democrat leadership is ineffective = “just as bad” as ramming through MAJOR legislation that affects every American without listening to any input anyone including their constituents or even waiting for a CBO score (in the case of the House). That’s not even mentioning how unabashedly evil the bill is as it cuts BILLIONS from Medicaid in order to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

    The Republicans spent 8 years united in their determination to not let a single one of them so much as negotiate with the Democrats, let alone actually vote for something besides doomed attempts to repeal Obamacare and now they call the Democrats obstructionist before they even present the bill they wrote in secret on the Senate floor.

    Just as bad? Can you honestly be serious? Are you playing a long game of trolling just for the lulz? Because you can’t honestly believe some of the things you post here.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Yeah TJ, just as bad. They also crafted a healthcare bill behind closed doors without input from their constituents or the other party. While it provides coverage for those that can’t pay, for those that do pay it is too expensive to use and has few choices. In another couple years it will be done, without changes. And they have never to my knowledge even tried to fix it.
    We have 20 trillion in debt. It doubled under Obama, and the interest we have to pay will continue to rise from the current almost 400 billion a year. By 2025 if unchecked it will be the 2nd or 3rd largest budget item on current trajectory. Greater the defense.
    What kind of idiocy is that? What could that money be better spent on?
    So yes, both parties know it and both do nothing. Neither party wants to fix any big problem, just complain about the others feigned attempt to fix it.
    Yeah, both are equally bad.

    Friday, June 23, 2017 at 3:08 am | Permalink
  8. ebdoug wrote:

    PATRIOTSGT: I am one single person on Medicare with assets. I pay a little over $5600 for health care, mainly to protect my assets if I have to have home care or go in a nursing home.

    Since you work or have worked for the government, how much are they going to pay or do pay when you retire?

    In other words, because you worked for the government, you will be on the dole as far as health insurance goes.

    There was one year of my life after I left my parents when I was 19 that I didn’t pay my own health care insurance. My co-pay for a specialist is $50, none of my dental is free.

    Friday, June 23, 2017 at 3:58 am | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    PSgt, seriously? Are you still trying to create false equivalences between the two parties? I just have to call you on that.

    Do you honestly believe that Obama was just as bad as Trump? If so, I really want to hear you say that.

    Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I did not compare Trump to Obama directly. I am talking about both sides of the do nothing congress.
    The last bi partisan administration that had Dems and reps working together for the common good of the country was during Bills and Newts tenure. They actually talked and found common middle ground to get stuff done.
    Bush started out that way after 911, then the demknives came out and he stopped trying. When Obama took over and the Dems had both houses, he started the same way as Bush, the the rep knives came out and he told them to sit in the back of the bus. Then he lost the majority and became the executive action chief. Then Trump, and the knives came out before inauguration, but with a rep majority.

    So really, I see no difference. All the Presidents try, but congress runs the swamp.

    Ebdoug, Obama care will fail if not fixed. It is already too expensive for those that pay and IMO there should be no mandate. If you want to die or role the dice, because you don’t want to pay, that’s your choice.
    Yes, I get healthcare from the Army. I pay annual premiums, have co pays and annual caps. I pay for my family’s insurance as well and their co-pays. And dental and eye coverage.
    Anyone who wants to strap on a pair of boots and give nearly 3 decades of service to their country, spend over 5 years serving away from home in places around the world collecting a few holes along the way that weren’t their when I started is very welcome to enjoy the same benefits I do. Did I mention, the 12 hr days here at home or the 16 hr days for 373 straight days on my final tour, with no overtime? Did I mention having to pass fitness tests twice or more times per year, or having to meet height and weight standards? Did I mention I earned 60,000 for that last tour? So do the math and you’ll no why I think $15 hr minimum wage for some McDonald’s fry guy with no experience is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. The only reason they need to do that is our politicians have utterly failed. There are not enough middle class jobs so they need to artificially make people feel good for a couple years until inflation catches up.
    If your earning minimum wage and trying to raise a family YOU screwed up and YOU need to fix it, not the government. If you graduate college and can only find min wage work, the your parents and you screwed up. We have to import STEM employees from other countries because snowflakes don’t want to learn math.

    Their are plenty of failures in our countries leadership to go around.

    Friday, June 23, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  11. Iron Knee wrote:

    Why do people keep repeating the “Obamacare will fail if not fixed” talking point? If there is something wrong with Obamacare that needs fixing, then fix it. Are the Republicans incapable of doing that?

    And as far as I can tell, many of the problems of Obamacare were inflicted by the Republicans on purpose. For example, screwing around with the Medicaid, which is why many providers dropped out this year. See

    Friday, June 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  12. PatriotSGT wrote:

    None of them want to fix it, then they can’t score political point against each other.

    Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink