A date Republicans might remember

by | Mar 23, 2017 | Ads, HB2, North Carolina, Obamacare | 4 comments

Today is the anniversary of both the Affordable Care Act and HB2. For Republicans, today may become a day that lives in infamy. House Bill 2 sunk their Governor and later today, Republicans in the U. S. House will vote to repeal and replace Obamacare with a program that takes insurance away from more than 24 million people while reducing coverage and increasing premiums. If 2018 turns out to be a Democratic wave, Republican might consider March 23 a day to remember.

Last March 23, Republicans in the legislature went into Special Session with a hastily drawn bill that had then-Governor Pat McCrory nervous and left Democrats in the dark. It was passed and signed into law with little debate in less than 24 hours. Republicans thought the bill would energize their base and drive a wedge between Democrats and Republicans. They couldn’t have been more wrong or more powerless to fix their mistake.

The law damaged the state’s reputation and cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars in business revenue and thousands of jobs. The Republican leadership would like to repeal the bill but it’s held hostage by their right flank. Ironically, as their hyper-partisanship is causing them increasing problems, they can muster the votes to override the Governor’s veto, making judicial races partisan again, but they can’t muster the votes to repeal their own bill. It’s quite an anniversary.

Republicans have an even bigger problem with the Affordable Care Act. For seven years, they’ve been telling Americans how awful the law is and promising to repeal it as soon as they got power. Now, it turns out that they don’t have the stomach for a clean repeal. They’ve rolled out a bill that will hurt more people than it will help—all in the name of freedom. To win their right-flank, known as the Freedom Caucus, Republicans are cutting “essential benefits” that Obamacare requires insurers to cover. Those benefits include maternity coverage, pediatric dentistry, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment. They want to bring back pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps to makes sure sick people can’t get covered and lose their houses to pay for treatment. And of course the bill is really a huge tax cut for the rich.

This day could be an ominous one for Republicans in North Carolina. They’re stuck with an unpopular bill that’s costing the state money and jobs as well as its reputation all because they can’t reel in their right flank. In Congress, the extremists in their caucus, led by Rep. Mark Meadows of NC-11, have high-jacked the ACA repeal deal by demanding cuts to services that will negatively impact a huge number of Americans.

On this anniversary, we should all remember that gerrymandering has left Republicans more scared of primaries than of general elections. They’ve pushed damaging, unpopular legislation because they pay no price. The rest of us do, though, and they just don’t care.


  1. Norma Munn

    The past 24 hours has left egg on the faces of Trump & CO, as well as Speaker Ryan. I doubt the NC GOP legislative leadership will think they have anything to learn from the DC debacle today. Gerrymandering is as good as a suit of armor — for now.

  2. TY Thompson

    Yes, that bill is so unpopular, it got it’s best known proponent re-elected with more votes than any other candidate in the state and even increased the Rep’s Senate super-majority. To get back in power, it’s time Dems acknowledge the will of the people, jettison this losing issue and move on to more promising ventures.

  3. Walt de Vries, Ph.D.

    For years now, I have taught university students and hundreds of NC Institute of Political Leadership Fellows that:
    (1) being elected to public office does not make you omnipotent, incredibly wise and without sin;
    (2) as an elected politician, you will inevitably make tactical and policy mistakes;
    (3) when you do screw up, admit it quickly and publicly, then honestly ask for forgiveness from the voters (especially yours);
    (4) avoid the powerful temptation (often the advice of political “experts”) to cover-up your bad judgment; and
    (5) move on with something positive that you are doing for the voters in your district or state;
    Simple, easily understood advice with plenty of examples of those who just could not bring themselves to admit they are not perfect, and took the cover-up road,isn’t it?
    Need any contemporary illustrations? How about Trump, McCrory, Berger, Moore, and that classic, historic one, Richard Nixon.
    Of course, this is a bipartisan phenomenon especially if you hold power at the moment and believe you cannot possibly be replaced by anyone else..
    For those I have pleaded with on this, and followed this common sense advice, thank you. If you get a chance to work with or be a candidate, help get this philosophy of campaigning and governing across to potential and actual candidates. You will get civil, rational and policy politics and government for your efforts.
    Stay tuned.

    • Tamara Brogan

      Dr. Vries. Very good comment! I never expected my elected leaders to be experts on everything or perfect. However, I do expect them to listen to others that know more on a subject. To learn from, and work with others, to make decisions to make good things happen. I also expect them to admit when they make mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and fix the mistake. When elected leaders feel omnipotent and feel irreplaceable, that is when goverment policies and legislation gets extreme, all about keeping power and power grabbing and can end up having horrible conquences for the common good.

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