The Corner

Politics & Policy

Fred Upton and the Hypocrisy of Republican Moderates

Fred Upton is a “no” on partial-Obamacare repeal and a good indicator that the latest effort may be doomed. Phil Klein over at the Examiner had this to say:

For years, when nothing Upton proposed had any chance of becoming law, he helped lead the campaign to fully repeal Obamacare as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In fact, even as I write, his website reads, “I support full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).”

But now that a Republican is in the White House instead of President Obama, and that what he votes on actually does have a chance of becoming law, he has decided that he cannot support even partial repeal of Obamacare. As my colleague Kimberly Leonard reports, Upton told a local Michigan radio station, “I’ve supported the practice of not allowing pre-existing illnesses to be discriminated against from the very get-go. This amendment torpedos that and I told leadership I cannot support this bill with this latest provision in it.”

To be clear, the latest proposed amendment to the legislation would still require insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions, but allows states to opt out of the requirements that all insurance policies cover certain categories of benefits and the mandate that says insurers cannot charge more based on health status. (Critics say that’s effectively the same, but that particular debate is not the focus of this post.) What is undeniable is that Upton not only called for full repeal of Obamacare with the passive knowledge that these regulations were a core part of the law, but his committee put out a report that specifically attacked these regulations for driving up premiums.

I guess I can understand if you are a Republican moderate and don’t want to take the heat for repealing Obamacare regulations; what I don’t understand is pretending for years you were willing to take the heat for repealing Obamacare regulations. At least keep your head down. Instead, the moderates appear to be the biggest reason the GOP may have perpetuated a massive deception of its own voters on Obamacare repeal.

I wrote, by the way, on Republican over-promising on Obamacare today. 

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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