It didn't take long after ObamaCare was upheld by the Supreme Court for CNN to browbeat Republicans about accepting defeat and getting behind the law. Anchor Brooke Baldwin asked Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Thursday afternoon why he was still fighting a law opposed by a majority of Americans.
"You lost in 2010 when this law was passed, you lost again today. Yet you are still pushing for the repeal of this law. Doesn't that make you look kind of like a sore loser?" Baldwin obnoxiously asked. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Perhaps Baldwin forgot that according to her network's own poll, a majority of Americans oppose the law. And in the 2010 elections Republicans gained over 60 seats in the House months after a Democratic Congress passed ObamaCare by the narrowest of margins. Yet she still thought GOP opposition to the law would hurt the party in the long-run.
Baldwin also hit Republicans for attacking the financial cost of the new law, but Blunt smacked down her efforts. "Well we know for sure that they're – they intended to cut $500 billion from Medicare to fund this new program, so you could have the whole 'could we afford it' debate on that one issue alone," he retorted.
A partial transcript of the segment, which aired on June 28 on CNN Newsroom at 2:36 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
BROOKE BALDWIN: ObamaCare lives. Republicans did everything they could to chip away at the law in the two years since it was passed, and many were confident the Court would strike down the individual mandate. So for them, today's ruling kind of has to sting. Senator Roy Blunt is one of those Republicans who is rooting for ObamaCare to fall. Senator, welcome. You lost in 2010 when this law was passed, you lost again today. Yet you are still pushing for the repeal of this law. Doesn't that make you look kind of like a sore loser?
BALDWIN: I want to begin with Chief Justice John Roberts, a man appointed by George W. Bush. Sided with the liberal-leaning justices on this. Does that make you take a step back when you realize that a conservative justice, Chief Justice, was the swing vote here?
BALDWIN: But sir, I just asked about the chief justice specifically. Forgive me for interrupting, but the Chief Justice specifically – does that make you step back and worry about this supposed conservative Chief Justice?
BALDWIN: On the affordability, on the dollars and cents that Americans will be facing come 2014, the CBO director does say that because of the size and the scope of this law, certain cost projections like looking ahead – it's impossible to really tell right now. So isn't it misleading for your Republican colleagues to cry financial doom over this today?
Sen. ROY BLUNT (R-Mo.): Well we know for sure that they're – they intended to cut $500 billion from Medicare to fund this new program, so you could have the whole "could we afford it" debate on that one issue alone. Why would you take a program that's about to have significant financial challenges anyway and use it as a big pay-for for a new government takeover of more of the health care plan. This debate now really gets started. The constitutional thing, while narrowly decided, set aside, and now we get to do you think this is a good idea? Aren't there better things to do to make the health care system work better? And my side of this debate is let's repeal this and let's start over again and try to produce this system where people get more competition to provide services to them and they are their doctors make decisions, not some regulating board at some far-away place.
BALDWIN: I know Romney said day one if he is elected, he used the same word, he will repeal ObamaCare. You are Romney's congressional liaison. His campaign says it raised a million dollars since the ruling. I want to just listen to some of Romney's comments on this.
MITT ROMNEY, Republican presidential candidate: As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision. And I agree with the dissent. What the Court did not do on its last day of session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal ObamaCare.
(End Video Clip)
BALDWIN: You yourself said the law is the law, now that the nation's highest court has ruled this is constitutional. Doesn't it hurt Romney's rhetoric in the long-run?
BALDWIN: I want to read something you said on Monday. Quote, "I could get in lots of trouble in the current environment saying I think we should have more compromise. But what I've said about this is what I believe – compromise is the price for living in a democracy." Compromise, senator. Will more of your Republican colleagues have to learn the meaning of compromise after today?
During the summer of 2009, conservative activists turned up the heat on Democratic politicians to protest the innovation-destroying, liberty-usurping Obamacare mandate. In the summer of 2012, it's squishy Republican politicians who deserve the grassroots flames.
In case you hadn't heard, even if the Supreme Court overturns the progressives' federal health care juggernaut, prominent GOP leaders vow to preserve its most "popular" provisions. These big-government Republicans show appalling indifference to the dire market disruptions and culture of dependency that Obamacare schemes have wrought.
GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, vice chair of the Senate GOP Conference, told a St. Louis radio station two weeks ago that he supports keeping at least three Obamacare regulatory pillars: federally imposed coverage of "children" up to age 26 on their parents' health insurance policies (the infamous, unfunded "slacker mandate"), federally mandated coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions ("guaranteed issue," which leads to an adverse-selection death spiral) and closure of the coverage gap in the massive Bush-backed Medicare drug entitlement (the "donut hole fix" that will obliterate the program's cost-controls).
Some Republicans are even trying to out-Obama Obamacare. GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio is pushing a proposal to increase the mandatory coverage age for dependents to age 31. And once a fire-breathing dragon for repeal, GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee hem-hawed when asked by the liberal Talking Points Memo website whether Republicans would be introducing specific bills to preserve the guaranteed issue and slacker mandate provisions.
"Well, I think we need to be prepared," Alexander told TPM. "And we will be prepared."
How about getting informed? As I reported while the Obamacare backroom wheeling-dealing was going on, some 20 states already had passed legislation requiring insurers to cover adult children before the federal rule was imposed, and nearly 20 others were already on the expensive path toward doing so. In New Jersey, Wisconsin and elsewhere, these top-down benefits mandates were among key factors driving up the cost of insurance and limiting access instead of expanding it.
Fortunately for fiscal conservatives, GOP Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina still has his head screwed on straight. Last week, he blasted GOP enablers of the welfare state. He notes that "multiple studies have suggested that every 1 percent increase in premiums increases the number of uninsured by approximately 200,000 to 300,000 individuals nationwide." The slacker mandate has raised premiums by at least 1 percent since it was enacted, DeMint adds, meaning "that hundreds of thousands of individuals have lost coverage — because they were priced out of the individual market, or because their employers decided to stop offering coverage — as a result of the new requirements."
This is no textbook hypothetical. No less than the Service Employees International Union Local 1199 — one of Obamacare's biggest cheerleaders — dropped health care coverage for children in late 2010 because of costly mandates, including, you guessed it, the slacker mandate. "Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible," the SEIU 1199 benefits managers wrote in a letter to more than 30,000 families, "and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible."
Chris Jacobs, senior analyst for the Senate Joint Economic Committee, points to a new study by the left-leaning Commonwealth Fund that reveals that the benefits of the slacker provision have "disproportionately accrued to affluent and wealthy families." Moreover, this unfunded mandate is fostering greater dependency — and providing employment disincentives — by encouraging high numbers of young adults to reject other forms of insurance in order to take advantage of "free" parental coverage.
Where does presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stand? Despite repeated assurances that he will abandon Obamacare in its entirety, Romney is surrounded by GOP socialized medicine helpmates. In January, Romney adviser Norm Coleman said, "(We're) not going to repeal the act in its entirety ... you can't whole cloth throw it out."
Earlier this month, Romney named former Utah GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt his transition leader. Leavitt supports and has profited handsomely from Obamacare's health care exchange mandate. Then there's the Romneycare mandate in Massachusetts, conceived by Obamacare architect and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, which includes the very same slacker mandate provision enshrined in the Democrats' law.
Who needs enemies when you've got Republican Surrenderists for Obamacare waiting in the wings?
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is email@example.com.