GOP wants ACA to be DOA with NFL


Steve Benen has the story HERE:

With implementation of the Affordable Care Act proceeding apace, the Obama administration has already talked about how best to reach the public, letting Americans know about benefits available to eligible families. The point of public-relations campaign is obvious: not only will it benefit families who could use the help, but the more people participate, the more effective the law.

Republican leaders are well aware of this, and have begun pushing back aggressively, last week urging the commissioners of the National Football League and other major sports leagues not to help the U.S. government get the word out in any way.

“Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of the bill, it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to a promotion,” wrote Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas in the letters, which were dated Thursday. […]

In the letters to the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA and NASCAR, the two senators also ask the leagues to notify them if anyone in the Obama administration exerts undue pressure to get them to support any pro-health care law marketing efforts.

Given what we’ve seen in recent years, the letters to the sports leagues certainly don’t come as a surprise. Indeed, they’re not happening in a vacuum, either — Trivis Waldron noted on Friday that some conservative activists are threatening to turn their backs on the NFL if professional football partners with the U.S. government on this. The Weekly Standard, for example, said it would be “yet another reminder that football is best watched on Saturdays.”

There’s also the not-so-subtle irony of Mitch McConnell whining incessantly for several weeks about a “culture of intimidation,” while he quietly presses the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA, and NASCAR not to cooperate with federal officials — because he says so.

But let’s also not overlook the policy significance of this.

The reason the Senate minority leadership sent these letters is because they desperately hope to sabotage the post-reform health care system. As McConnell and Cornyn see it, if sports leagues help the government get the word out about, and Americans take advantage of the benefits they’re entitled to, then the Affordable Care Act will succeed.

And success for “Obamacare” isn’t something GOP officials are prepared to tolerate, so they’re using their public offices to pressure the private sector to help undermine the law’s efficacy.

As Jonathan Bernstein explained the other day, “It’s possible that the ACA will collapse. But if it does, it’s unlikely it will be the result of inherent problems with the legislation. If Obamacare fails, it’s going to be because the Republican Party’s all-out war on it — a war that doesn’t seem to have any concern at all for health-care consumers or the economy — succeeds. Whether that’s a good thing for health care? Well, that doesn’t seem to be part of the equation.”

Quite right. If Republicans can successfully sabotage the law, they win — even if you and your family lose. We’re watching one of those unusual dynamics in which federal officials actively and deliberately try to undermine other federal officials in the hopes of sabotaging federal law.



  1. Steverino

    McConnell needs to be interned at the Galapagos islands so government can carry out the laws of the land and accept the fact that he failed to make Obama a one term president.

  2. Brian Opsahl

    Republicans just want to go back to the good old days when nobody could afford coverage except the CEOs who ran those companys…denieing coverage was a game they played very well….and my favorite …the double digit raises they gave to themselves every single year.

  3. Brian Opsahl

    Mr.Turtle himself is putting pressure on these league owners not to cooperate with the Goverment…hhmmm

    I think the biggest republican fears about the ACA is that Americans like this law and they wont get any credit for this…..years and years to come….?

  4. Pat, you and Jonathan Bernstein elucidate the problem with the ACA. Other than it is not A (affordable).

    You said “the more people participate, the more effective the law.” Bernstein said “It’s possible that the ACA will collapse.”

    The point is that, with the overthrow, or usurpation, of over 16 percent of the private sector economy, the possibility that it can fail means it is bad legislation from the start.

    Hate to burst your government-controlled health care bubble, but it isn’t doing anything it was promised to do. In fact, the results are 180 degrees from the promise.

    As if history doesn’t teach anything, ask a Canadian or a Brit how they like their government controlled health care? Then ask yourself why people flee the long waiting times in those systems and come here for medical treatment they can’t get or can’t get in a timely manner at home?

    Rationed health care isn’t the solution. That’s why more than half the country does not want Obamacare. Oh, I mean the ACA.

    Instead of blaming republicans for wanting to kill it, you should be joining them. More government control is not the answer.

  5. Brian Opsahl

    Maybe you were happy with the way it was before with Bush doing nothing to fix the double digit raises they got every single year and the cost was getting so high every company that could, was cutting coverage and raising the co-pays and deductables into the stratosphere on top of the fact they would just deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions…so anything was better than the nothing we got from republicans.

    I have a brother with throut cancer and I thank God he’s getting pretty good treatment without insurance….and did I mention he is a republican…!

  6. I wouldn’t say I was happy with life before Obamacare. It was the government mandates put on the insurance companies, and the monopolistic restraints put on them that created everything we didn’t like about it. Even at that, health care was better than this “fix.” There was a private sector solution proposed that was tabled by Democrats. It was called H.R. 3400 way back when. It forced (allowed) interstate competition between insurance companies and it had a solution for pre-existing conditions. And instead of government mandates, insurance companies could offer the coverages that the customer wanted. The customization and competition is what would have brought premiums down. Something like that is where health care needs to go to.

    Remember the big deal about why we needed the ACA was that there were 30 million people who didn’t have health insurance, as though there were that many that wanted it to begin with. Now, after the ACA, we are told that there are still 20 million people “not covered.” Needless to say, destroying health care like it has and STILL not fulling its promise is flawed legislation any way you look at it.

  7. Sorry to hear about your brother. Cancer is a bitch. That he has good care w/o insurance is also good. Sort of defies the logic that you can’t get health care if you don’t have Obamacare. You know I’m sure, that everyone can get health care if they need it. It’s called the emergency room. Now I’m not saying that that is the solution. All I’m saying is that not having health “insurance” isn’t the end of the world, and the ACA isn’t the solution to all our health care requirements.

  8. Brian Opsahl

    Ross, most of the ACA doesn’t even start till 2014 ….so how can it already be a failure as your saying…..and the emergency room is not cost effective at all…you know this..?

    My brothers cancer makes it very difficult because of his hate for the programs that he is now dependent on…

  9. It can already be a failure by the quotes of Pat and whatshisface above. It can already be a failure by the jobs it is killing both in and out of the health care fields. It can already be a failure by the minimum policy cost to be in at around $5500/year. That’s for the 20-30k annual salaried worker. It can already be a failure by the labor unions wanting their exemptions extended, which all expire next year. Then there’s the congressional employees that can’t afford the affordable care act and are asking for special exemptions. Faced with being subject to Obamacare, it can already be a failure by less people going into the medical field as MD’s. That spells shortage of doctors, that means long wait times. What’s not to like about the ACA?

  10. Brian Opsahl

    The jobs it’s killing….the medical field is exploading with jobs…are you serious…?
    Again you do not know the cost your projecting again….it does’ NOT start till 2014…what part of that don’t you understand…dudefromabove…!!!

  11. expdoc


    It is absolutely futile to argue with Brian.

    I know that you would think that his inability to spell and organize his thoughts in a coherent fashion might mean that he is willing to listen to an opinion other than his own, it just isn’t true.

    He has already consumed a lifetime supply of Kool-Aid and the damage is irreversible.

  12. Brian Opsahl

    Doc, my family Doctor believes in this ACA so he is the professional I asked and based my opinion on…I don’t spell so well, so what Doc…after watching what my brother is going through with his cancer and his hate for those very programs that are now saving his life now…Your typical insults can kiss my backside …so how is that..? for an orginized thought was that coherent enough for the assbag…!!!

    Down in the gutter our Doc take’s us…again..!!

  13. expdoc


    It is hardly “down in the gutter” to make 2 valid observations that routinely apply to your posts on this blog.

    As for your brother and the care he is receiving. I am not surprised and it stands as a testament against the ACA.

    Ross made many valid points about the probable failure of the ACA which I will not recapitulate. Read what he wrote and reflect back upon it in about 2-3 years and see if he doesn’t turn out to be correct.

  14. Brian Opsahl

    2 to 3 years….probable failure’s ….is what your obviously hoping for…and that is as Anti-American as can be…hoping and begging against our Country just because you don’t like this President is sad …very sad….republicans had bush for 8 years….and tell me exacty what he did to fix anything healthcare related other than taking away perscription prices from going down…? and watching as excutives were getting huge raises every single year

    Doc,as I have said many times my spelling sucks…true…so what, I am NOT perfect never have been…and you either…!!!

    I can make insulting observations about you also but I choose NOT to dig down into the gutter to do that….sir….!!!

  15. expdoc

    Give me a break Brian.

    Do you really think I want to see the industry that I have devoted my entire adult life to fail?

    As I noted above, it is not worth my time to even attempt to have a discussion with you.

    I do find it interesting though that you site your family physician as your lock down source for predicted success of the ACA.

    I am sure that you wouldn’t believe a single word I say about the ACA or the concerns I have about the reform and its implementation, but I suspect your doc doesn’t have near the involvement or experience in health care governance and management that I have.

    That’s just the Kool-Aid fogging your judgement.

  16. Brian Opsahl

    My Doctor is the smartest man I know in your field,and I trust his judgement because when he explains something to you he has the ability to bring down to my level…
    Doc, I read your posts and from time to time you make sense and at times im shocked your practicing as a Doc….but I try not to critize so much…

  17. expdoc

    :My Doctor is the smartest man I know in your field”..

    Of course you don’t know me at all so I still have a chance 🙂

  18. wilson

    Brian, not 2014, now it is 2015 and that is a fact!
    I know you don’t read the links provided because you have stated you don’t, but here it is anyway.

    Brian knows one doctor in the field, so that makes him the smartest guy in the field, well one can’t argue with that logic

  19. I know some people here don’t follow links when they are relevant to the topic. Like this one on H.R. 3400. But as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.


    Here’s a summary of the bill that Republicans proposed and Democrats tabled.


    Individuals to choose their health insurance (no mandates)
    Deductibility of health insurance premiums regardless of who pays
    Employers to provide flexible health-insurance options to employees
    Health insurance coverage for low-income families (300 percent of the federal poverty level)
    Health insurance for high-risk individuals (pre-existing conditions)
    Sale of health insurance across state lines
    Expansion of Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs
    Individual membership association health insurance plan
    Association Health Insurance Plans
    Medical liability limitations (Tort reform)

    Bet most readers here never heard of H.R. 3400. Understandable. The MSM didn’t mention it. Neither did the President. But that’s OK, hope I was of some help to the savable in here.

  20. Neftali

    Ross – Great info. Actually, there has been several ObamaCare alternative bills presented by Republicans like Charles Boustany and Tom Price. (Both are M.D’s) All have largely gone unnoticed.

    But I won’t place the blame on the MSM. The problem lies within current Republican leadership. Their whole mantra for the past 4 years has been “Let’s Repeal ObamaCare and then after that come up with a new health care bill.” This, of course, has been a terrible strategy for 2 primary reasons.

    1. The public wants to know “replace it with what? We don’t want to wait around while Republicans debate for who knows how long trying to agree on a bill for the party to rally around and get behind.

    2. The argument from the left (and I’ll admit a valid one) is, why didn’t you guys pass this during the 6+ years you were in charge? So clearly, very few trust Republicans to actually act on passing a new health care law on the miracle chance ObamaCare gets repealed.

    If Republican leadership would unite and rally around H.R. 3400, then MSM would follow suit and promote it accordingly. I wish they would.

  21. Brian Opsahl

    After reading the artical you posted with the link you have to give credit to Mr.Obama for listening to and responding to what the companys asked him to do…Right..!!

    They asked him to delay this so it would give them more time to implament…and he did, thats good right..?

    Nef, good point …that’s all im saying on that one

  22. Brian Opsahl

    Wilson, one other thing on the I know one Doctor…?

    Not to be name droping…but my Doctor before the one I have now is..Dr.Gorski…maybe you’ve heard of him….?

    Doc, my Doctor didn’t just give the ACA a five star rating what he told me about it was factuall and the good and bad parts of it. As he put it it’s better than we had it’s not perfect and it will need tweeking but it’s a step in the right direction.

  23. Obama’s political (not economic) advisor Valerie Jarrett came up with the “listening” spin. Too bad she didn’t listen to her boss when he said about ACA, “you can keep your insurance” if you want. If you’re in California and have Aetna or United Health health insurance policies, you can’t. They’re getting out of the health insurance business. Why? Because Obamacare is squeezing them out. By design of course. He also said your premiums would fall by $2,500 a year. Wrong Obamabreath! Premiums are expected to double or even triple under this idiotic but perfectly socialist plan.

    By putting off the main part of this wonderful (you have to pass it to see what’s in it) plan, the “forced enrollment” or “fine” part until after the mid-terms, Jarrett is handing Republicans another issue, if not THE issue, that can cause them to not only lose their majority status in the Senate, but be the catalyst to repeal and replace it with a private sector solution.

    But, that all presumes that the R’s are smart enough to use it like the D’s would if the shoe were on the other foot.

  24. Brian Opsahl

    For a solialist….the capitolist are doing pretty good huh…ross..?

    Your guys had 8 years to come up with a plan for Americans to get health care…all that happened during that time was double digit raieses for the insurance agencys and it’s executives….so complain all you want you had your chance and took a nap when you had an opportunity to make a differance…RIGHT..?

  25. expdoc


    Sure I know Bill Gorski.

    As the CEO of an inner city health system in a state that absolutely mangles not only Medicaid, but the entire state budget, Gorski would certainly be in favor of many of the provisions of the ACA. Why would I be surprised by that?

    As you noted (and I agree) depending on where you sit there will be some good parts of the ACA.

    But it isn’t going to fix the system as a whole and I positively guarantee that the more people learn about the ACA and it’s requirements the more vocal and overwhelming the dissatisfaction will be.

  26. Brian, your “8 years to come up with a plan” ignores the fact that they did come up with a plan. Re-read my post above about H.R. 3400, a little slower this time. The bill was buried in committee, tabled, by the then Democrat controlled House in that session.

    Next time you think you know what you’re talking about, question yourself.

  27. wilson

    Credit for listening? I am disappointed as the ACA was going to create tons of jobs and lower my rates, now we have to wait.
    You would think he’d want this implemented by the mid-term elections so they could regain the house, but I guess being a man of principle he decided to give every business a waver and will take his chances come next election.

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