Say It With Me: Democrats Want to Fix Obamacare

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Jonah Goldberg suggests today that no one can say what they really believe about health care. Republicans refuse to admit that they don’t really want to repeal Obamacare after all. As for Democrats:

Meanwhile, the Democrats know that Obamacare has been a huge albatross for their party and understand that the best thing that could happen for them is if the Republicans agreed to keep Obamacare in name (i.e., abandon the rhetoric of “repeal”) but do whatever is necessary to make the thing work. But the GOP is doing the opposite. It’s largely keeping Obamacare in terms of policy (at least the really popular parts) but rhetorically it’s claiming to destroy Obamacare utterly. So, both the Democrats and the Republicans end up claiming this is a repeal of Obamacare when it’s not. It’s all a war for the best spin, not the best policy.

Wait a second. “Keep Obamacare but fix it” is practically the Democratic rallying cry these days. There’s hardly a Democrat alive who doesn’t loudly and publicly support this position. A couple of months ago all 48 Democratic senators signed a letter promising, “If repeal is abandoned, we stand ready to work with you to help all Americans get the affordable health care they need.” Every liberal rally and march includes people carrying “Don’t repeal it, fix it!” signs. I’ve personally written multiple times about this, most recently two days ago: “Obamacare’s modest problems could be fixed with nothing more than a few minor changes and additional funding of $5-10 billion or so.” Those minor changes include, possibly, a higher mandate penalty and continuing to fund the CSR subsidies. Nothing all that hard.

Would Democrats be willing to support some conservative priorities—tort reform, HSAs, block granting Medicaid—in return for this? Beats me. But Democrats have sure made it clear that keeping Obamacare and fixing it is what they want. If Republicans truly have any interest in this, they shouldn’t have any trouble finding willing listeners.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate