In a sign of how utterly committed they are to taking healthcare away from people, reports suggest the GOP is gearing up to take yet another crack at fully repealing the Affordable Care Act should they retain control of Congress after the midterms.
“I suppose that it’s all in the numbers,” Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski told Axios. “If you had a significant enough shift in the Senate and you came up with a replacement that really did generate a level of support, yep.”
Murkowski, famously, was one of the few GOPers who opposed her party’s effort to deny healthcare to millions of Americans in 2017—an effort that was ultimately tanked by John McCain’s dramatic “thumbs down” on the Senate floor.
Which isn’t to say that Murkowski’s blunt forecast is something the GOP wants to make an actual campaign issue ahead of the midterms.
“Repeal [of Obamacare] is like fight club,” someone identified solely as a “GOP operative” told Axios’ Caitlin Owens. “First rule is not to talk about it.”
There’s good reason for the GOP to try and keep their ongoing effort to screw over a huge swath of the population under wraps. Democratic candidates and their allies have been hammering Republicans on their healthcare plans for months, running more than 25,000 ads on the subject already.
“The last thing Republicans want to talk about is Obamacare, because they’re so sensitive about the fact they couldn’t come up with an alternative,” one GOP strategist told NBC this past June.
Which isn’t to say all Republicans are content to keep any plans for another Obamacare repeal under wraps. Missouri’s Republican Attorney General and Senate candidate Josh Hawley has signed on to a multi-state lawsuit seeking to fully negate the ACA, prompting incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to note that that “while Hawley has made plenty of time for planning how to rip health care away from those who need it, he has yet to propose a single solution that would make health care more affordable or accessible for Missourians.”
Nevertheless, despite the Democrats’ apparent dominance on the issue, and the GOP’s largely hush-hush attitude toward any potential repeal effort, the fact that there remains a significant chance that the Republicans will retain control of at least half—if not all—of Congress means that, once again, the threat to Obamacare is very real.