Disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on why Republicans are having such a hard time getting an ACA repeal vote to pass now that they don't have President Obama there to veto the legislation. It's subject to a different "level of scrutiny."
Ya' think Newt? Wow. Who would have believed that people are actually paying attention to what Republicans do now that there's actually a chance it's going to impact their lives, instead of a lot of empty bluster back when Republicans knew President Obama was there to save them and veto their nonsense.
His fellow panel member on this weeks Fox News Sunday also threw cold water over whether there could be a backlash if they fail to get anything passed with their voters. He's probably right about the hard core base not abandoning them, but a lot of them may be disgusted enough to stay home during the mid-terms.
Transcript via Fox:
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel. And on this question of whether or not the Senate is going to be able -- Republicans in the Senate -- to repeal and replace ObamaCare, we got this on Twitter from Ron Powell who writes, "why, if they had eight years and multiple House votes to repeal did you not have an alternative ready when you took power? It’s clear they had zero."
Speaker Gingrich, how do you answer Ron?
GINGRICH: Well, they -- they did have a plan and I think what they've learned, painfully, is that the kind of plan you have when everybody assumes it will get vetoed gets one level of scrutiny. The kind of plan you have when everybody thinks it’s going to become law, the -- it skyrockets.
So they found it to be much harder than they thought it would be. My personal bet would be that McConnell will find the votes and I think it's possible, if they get a package that can actually run from the most conservative member to the most moderate member in the Senate, that that will just be passed by the House without a conference.
I think people really want to get this done and I think McConnell -- I think -- again, you had a -- I think just now a senator who really understands this issue and who I think was able to outline, as a medical doctor, the right direction. They’re going to keep churning for another two weeks. The deadline is good for them. The Senate tends to operate best when it's faced with a really big deadline. And I think they’ll get something done before the August break.
WALLACE: But what about Brit’s question, because that is one of the big concerns, and that President Obama and the Democrats expanded Medicaid, covered people that weren't previously covered, millions of people got it under there. This -- while it is true that -- that it doesn't cut Medicaid, it slows the rate of growth of Medicaid, some people who now have coverage eventually would lose coverage, and it states that didn't expand Medicaid, there’s a tremendous concern that they’re going to be stuck in an inferior position. How do you make them whole? Both -- both sides.
GINGRICH: Well, first of all -- first of all, I’m underwhelmed by governors who love free money. You have a lot of governors who say, oh, we want more of this money. Ninety percent of the cost to be picked up by the feds for the expanded part of Medicaid, which, by the way, actually discriminates against, for example, Americans with disabilities because they only get 62 percent of federal funding. And some states have actually re-rigged the game to get more able-bodied adults.
Second, I would say, look at what Mary Mayhew (ph) did in Maine where they passed reforms that said, if you’re an able-bodied adult, than you ought to be required to work if you have no children. Medicaid has expanded dramatically in the zones it was never designed for and I think the American people would support reforms that had work requirements attached to people who were able-bodied adults.
WALLACE: Juan, what do you think are the chances that Republicans fail to pass anything on repeal and replace, which I think there's a growing sentiment here in Washington. And if they fail to pass it after seven years of promising they would, what's the backlash they’ll face in 2018?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think their -- by the way, the premise of your question is right on target because at this point it looks to me like really what the Republicans are up against his embarrassment with the Republican base that they are not in position to pass repeal and replace after so many years, so much rhetoric and votes to undo ObamaCare and you have conservative lobbying groups here in town who are pressing hard, insisting that they must repeal and replace or they will pay a price in 2018 in the midterms.
But the fact is that ultimately Mitch McConnell has expressed doubts about having it. President Trump -- the votes to pass it. President Trump has said the House bill is mean, Chris. Mean. And so what you have is the question of how the base reacts. And at this point I think the base, and a polarized electorate, is not going to abandon Republicans if they fail to repeal and replace. They’re not going to go vote for the Democrats. The problem is a political one because at this point we’re not talking about a good plan. Nobody on the -- even Republicans, when they’re polled, don't think this is a good plan for them. It's what you saw in the town hall meeting.
So, you don't have repeal and replace. Nobody’s building a border wall. No tax cuts. No tax reform. Dreamers still here. You’ve got to think, hey, Republicans, did you buy a bill of goods or what?
WALLACE: I think folks would just go home, put the -- put the blanket over their head and go back to sleep.