AUSTIN, Texas – Caught on a flight from Washington to Texas Sunday, Karl Rove, the guru of the GOP political establishment, was not pleased with a statement by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, a member of the House Republican leadership team, which sounded like a surrender in the fight to overturn Obamacare.
Asked if the comment by Republican leadership acquiescing to the continuation of the Affordable Care Act was helpful to GOP chances in November, Rove said, “It doesn’t. It absolutely doesn’t.”
Rove had not had a chance to read the article in the Spokane Spokesman-Review that quoted McMorris Rodgers as saying it is unlikely Republicans will kill the Affordable Care Act should they take the Senate and hold the House in November. He indicated he tried to read it when he saw the headline on the Drudge Report but could not access the story because the paper’s servers were overloaded.
“If she’s saying that there are some provisions of the law that are worth keeping, like pre-existing conditions, that makes sense,” said Rove. “Nobody is talking about scrapping everything. There are some things worth keeping.”
McMorris Rodgers has been part of the Republican leadership in the House that has voted multiple times to repeal parts or all of Barack Obama’s signature health care law. GOP members have said the law is unworkable, will increase costs for some and force others into inadequate coverage or plans they don’t want. Others have said it must be repealed in its entirety, with new legislation to provide reforms in health care such as requirements to cover pre-existing conditions.
McMorris Rodgers was critical of Obamacare, but she said the framework established by the law likely will persist and reforms should take place within its structure.
“It is a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to health care,” she said, as reported in the Washington state paper. Consumers should have more choice for their coverage, and Democrats should abandon the idea that everyone will enroll because of the mandate, McMorris Rodgers added.
The congresswoman also said that the 85 percent of enrollees who received Medicaid coverage is a sign the program is not sustainable and many will receive subpar care.
“You’re seeing where they’ve had to reduce programs for the very people it’s meant to help,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Somebody’s going to have to pay the bill.”