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: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

‘Judges for the #Resistance’

At Politico, I wrote today about the judiciary’s activism against Trump on immigration: There is a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration. The source is the federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Friendships Are America’s Asset

The stale, clichéd conceptions of Donald Trump held by both Left and Right — a man either utterly useless or only rigidly, transactionally tolerable — conceal the fact that the president does possess redeeming talents that are uniquely his, and deserve praise on their own merit. One is personal friendliness ... Read More
U.S.

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More
Culture

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More

Poll Finds Nevada Voters Support School-Choice Programs

According to an April poll, a large number of Nevada voters support school-choice programs. The poll, conducted by Nevada Independent/Mellman, found that 70 percent of voters support a proposal for a special-needs Education Savings Account and 59 percent support expanding the funding for the current tax-credit ... Read More
World

Microscopic Dots. Let’s Look at Them.

Stuart E. Eizenstat has written a big book on the Carter presidency. (Eizenstat was Carter’s chief domestic-policy adviser. He also had a substantial hand in foreign affairs.) I have reviewed the book for the forthcoming NR. Eizenstat tells the story of a meeting between President Carter and Andrei Gromyko, the ... Read More