Following an initially fractured response to the passage of President Obama's health bill, the GOP is moving its message away from trying to repealing the bill and toward focusing on the law's impact on businesses and jobs.
…After the bill passed by a vote of 219-to-212, many Republicans were unprepared for the Democratic messaging, which immediately sought to put them on the defensive for wanting to repeal benefits for Americans in the bill.
"They are now are in the unfortunate position of looking voters in the eye and pledging to take away their health care, reinstate the donut hole for seniors, and restore pre-existing conditions for insurance companies," said Eric Schultz, spok
esman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which began formulating this message back in December.
…The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tuesday publicly tacked away from the repeal movement.
"While some discuss repeal, the U.S. Chamber believes a more effective approach is to work through all available and appropriate avenues — regulatory, legislative, legal and political —to fix the bill's flaws and minimize its harmful impacts," said Tom Donohue, the chamber's president and chief executive, in an opinion piece distributed to reporters.
This sort of post-passage backtracking was about as predictable as the end of an episode of Scooby-Doo: Whether it's Medicare Part D or S-CHIP (which deserves to be cut entirely, not tweaked), every time one of these bloated entitlement packages passes, the story always turns out the same. You can tweak various provisions here and there, but the benefits are untouchable. Sooner or later, though—and probably sooner—the cost of all those benefits is going to cause some serious pain. And at some point, it simply won't be possible to sustain them. Politically motivated promises to stand firm for someone's inalienable right to their favorite taxpayer-funded benefits don't mean much when you're flat out of money.