This morning House Democrats took to the floor to point out that it has now been 126 days, and Republicans have still not offered their healthcare reform proposal. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said, “Rather than working with Democrats, Republicans are choosing to be the party of no and the status quo. No is not a solution.”
Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) said, “It’s been 126 days and the minority party has not given us their plan for health care. What they have given America’s seniors is a lot of misrepresentations on Medicare. This bill does not cut Medicare benefits for seniors. It cuts corporate welfare for insurance companies.”
Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) said, “I’m a patient man so I have been willing to take my Republican colleagues at their word that they’re not really trying to obstruct health care reform that they want to fix the system as well. So I have been willing to wait for a plan and many people out there in the public have been willing to wait as well for the Republicans to produce a health care reform plan before they pass judgment on what the best course is to fix our broken health care system. 126 days later, we are tired of waiting. Americans are ready for health care reform now because they want an affordable choice that competes with private plans. They know that they are one bad checkup, one pink slip away from being kicked off their coverage. And they can’t wait any longer for Republicans to share their solution.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said, “Rather than working with Democrats, Republicans are choosing to be the party of no and the status quo. No is not a solution. Saying no costs the average family $1,800 in increased health costs each year. Health insurance reform is about putting the American people and doctors back in charge, not the insurance companies to guarantee stability, lower costs, higher quality, and more choices of plans. Our friends on the other side of the aisle can’t run away from the fact that they have no plan as much as they might like to.”
The political timing is right for Democrats to turn up the pressure on Republicans when it comes to healthcare. The GOP used up all of their ammo at the town halls in August. Public opinion has turned in favor of reform, and the Republicans are offering nothing, but repetition of the same scare tactics that they used this summer.
One of the reasons why Republicans are going to end up losing the debate on healthcare is that they completely underestimated the support for reform. They were able to mount a month long campaign to drive support down, but they made a huge mistake when they decided that they didn’t have to offer their own solutions.
Democrats are going to pass a healthcare reform bill, and the Republicans can kid themselves into believes that this will carry them back to victory, but the truth is that their just say no stance is just likely to hurt them in 2012 as it is to help them in 2010. Whatever short term morale boost this gives to the base will be offset by the ground they will lose with Independents.