Type to search

Don’t Fall For The GOP’s Sham Plan To ‘Repair’ The Affordable Care Act

Congress Health Media Politics Top News US

Don’t Fall For The GOP’s Sham Plan To ‘Repair’ The Affordable Care Act


Reprinted with permission from Media Matters for America.

The GOP has shifted from its message of “repealing and replacing” Obamacare to “repairing” the law. Media must press conservatives on what their so-called “repairs” to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) might look like, especially in the likely event that “repairing” the ACA is really just repealing it with no replacement.

Republicans reportedly started transitioning away from their pledge to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, focusing on a more appealing call to “repair” the health care law. Frank Luntz, a GOP consultant known for repackaging conservative misinformation to advance a Republican agenda, encouraged conservatives to pledge to “repair” the ACA because that word “captures exactly what the large majority of the American people want.” As lawmakers like Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have adopted the “repair” buzzword, others, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), continue to obfuscate, claiming, “if we’re going to repair the U.S. health care system, … you must repeal and replace Obamacare,” indicating that GOP disarray over the ACA extends to its messaging strategies.

The GOP’s pledge to “repeal and replace” the law has largely backfired. After seven years, Republicans still have no replacement for the law. The GOP still can’t agree on the timing or the substance of any replacement plan. Most of its “replacement” plans are fact sheets rather than legislative language, and all of them would reduce coverage for millions of Americans.

The continued fight over the potential replacement has also inadvertently highlighted the tangible gains achieved by the ACA and made the public acutely aware of the negative impacts of repeal. New polling finds the ACA is increasingly popular, especially as news outlets highlight stories of individuals who would be impacted by repeal.

As Slate’s Jim Newell explained, the semantic change alone “does not signal a new course in the repeal-and-replace progress.” But, even if the GOP does decide to abandon its promise to repeal the ACA and instead focus on “repairing” the law, it remains vitally important for news outlets to force conservative politicians to clarify which portions of the ACA they intend to repair and how. Media have largely failed at questioning potential replacement plans for the law. And as top GOP lawmakers continue to falsely repeat right-wing media myths about the alleged “collapse” of the ACA, media must fact-check the GOP’s messaging strategies and interrogate its plans for repealing or repairing the law. If the GOP actually intends to make “repairs” to the ACA, those repairs may just be another messaging strategy for its plans to scale back services, gut Medicaid, and give a tax-break to the wealthy.

With millions of lives at stake, news outlets must aggressively question GOP lawmakers about what portions of the ACA they intend to repair and force lawmakers to clarify that repairing the ACA is not simply a buzzword phrase for repealing the law with no replacement.

IMAGE: U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) hands the pen to Representative Tom Price (R-GA) (L) after signing a bill repealing Obamacare at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



  1. secondclassguy February 7, 2017

    The healthcare issue while being the most important thing in everyone’s life is also the most boring to talk about, unless an atmosphere of lies, and making people fight about it is added to the conversation. So the media isn’t always a good way to get the facts or unwind the lies.

    The first thing they could do is apologize for letting republicans rename it Obamacare, because a new poll reveals 1/3 of Americans still believe the ACA and Obamacare are two different things. They could also point out that the ACA was originally designed by a conservative republican think tank when republicans point out no republicans voted for it. They could point out it has lowered healthcare inflation, that it includes all those protections that didn’t exist in many states, and then list all of them

    Oh poor corporate media, it would be so much easier and profitable if the ACA were a person caught in a bathroom stall reaching around to the other side, and that person were someone high profile. Fact is they had 9 years to set the record straight, the same way republicans had all that time to not make the healthcare issue a reality TV show, and work on their “replacement”

  2. Sean Andrews February 8, 2017

    I have profited 104,000 thousand dollars in last twelve months by working from my house a­n­d I manage that by work­ing in my own time f­o­r 3+ hours each day. I was following an earning model I came across online and I am so happy that I was able to earn so much money on the side. It’s beginner friendly a­n­d I’m so thankful that i found this. This is what i did… http://statictab.com/6mairvf

  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 24, 2017

    What a laughable scene of smarmy, pompous, self-serving little men and women, happy that they’re about to issue a plan to doom Americans who need help the most.
    The picture alone depicts unfeeling manikins, being coldly detached from the realities of life for ordinary citizens.
    Not a single person of this perverse group of onlookers and Ryan has any worries about their own health coverage, and so can easily divorce themselves from the cares and needs of others.

    I hope Trump and Ryan enjoy eating crow. now that the VaporCare the GOP and Trump promised has evaporated by now, on this the evening of March 23rd, 2017.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.