Why Are Republicans Shooting Themselves in the Foot With a Health Care Bill?

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Ed Kilgore points me to The Hill today, which reports that House Republicans plan to draft a genuine Obamacare replacement bill later this year:

For years, Republicans have promised a “repeal and replace” strategy on ObamaCare, but have never coalesced behind one plan. President Obama has repeatedly mocked the GOP for not delivering an alternative.

[Eric] Cantor intends to move a repeal-and-replace bill before the midterm elections in November, according to a source familiar with the situation. He broached the issue at the House GOP retreat in Cambridge, Md., late last week.

“I think it is very likely that we’re going to have it before the election, we’re going to give the people — or at least we are going to try to give the people — a clear distinction of who we are versus who the Democrats are,” Florida Rep. Tom Rooney (R) said.

I’m genuinely baffled by this. Why bother? Republicans have spent years screaming “Repeal and Replace!” without ever offering up a replacement, and it’s worked fine. Sure, it invites mockery from folks like me, but has that ever done them any harm? Not that I can see.

On the flip side, any actual bill will be divisive within their own caucus and provide a rich target for Democrats at the same time. When it’s all just hazy smoke, Dems have nothing to get a handle on. Once there’s actual legislative language, all they have to do is find the least popular bits, twist them into granny-killing death panels, and go to town.

If there were an actual chance of passing this bill, it might be worth it. But there’s not, and as near as I can tell, it’s literally 100 percent downside and no upside. What on earth is the point?

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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