The GOP failed to deliver on its seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, and Republican donors are finally smelling the scam.
Since 2010, Republicans have sensationalized Obamacare repeal. The notion of comprehensive coverage at a cheaper price became the centerpiece of the GOP platform as party leadership pandered to their most loyal supporters.
Since Obama’s reelection in 2012, however, even the highest-profile Republican leadership appeared to lose hope.
“Obamacare is the law of the land,” concluded former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) following the 2012 general election.
Boehner’s realization was later echoed by Speaker Paul Ryan this March following his bill’s embarrassing defeat in the House.
“I don’t know what else to say other than Obamacare is the law of the land,” Ryan told reporters. “And, so, yeah, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
It hasn’t stopped the GOP from promising grandiose impossibilities. But, as a recent lawsuit suggests, Republicans’ efforts may have backfired.
What’s Happening Now:
A retired attorney and Virginia-based Republican donor filed a lawsuit this week against the Virginia Republican parties. His allegation is unwavering: Republicans knew full-well they couldn’t repeal Obamacare, but promised it anyway to raise hundreds of millions in funding.
The plaintiff, Bob Heghmann, filed his suit in the U.S. District Court on Thursday. Mounting fraud and racketeering charges against the party, Heghmann demands the return of donors’ funds dating back to 2013.
According to the suit, Heghmann contributed “well over $1,000 supporting Republican Party Events and Republican Candidates based upon the pledge… that if Republicans contributed money and votes to the Republican Party and Republicans successfully took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Republicans in Congress would Repeal and Replace Obamacare.”
Records indicate he actually donated only $875 to the GOP in New Hampshire, where he volunteered for the Trump campaign, however.
Heghmann alleges that Republicans have known for years that Obamacare couldn’t be dismantled, and cites Boehner’s 2012 comments as the final nail in the coffin.
“As early as November 2012, the leaders of the Republican Party knew that the Republican Party was not going to Repeal and Replace Obamacare,” the suit reads. But since Boehner’s admission, the GOP continued to pursue fundraising efforts, “collect[ing] over $735 Million by promising that the Republican Party would ‘Repeal and Replace’ Obamacare,”—a promise Heghmann deemed “false and fraudulent.”
Healthcare reform prospects looked promising for a fleeting moment. An article published by the Liberal Examiner last month scrutinized comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) when he reluctantly discussed the possibility of recruiting Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to aid in legislative efforts.
With no action to work with Democrats on bipartisan legislation, the repeal and replace effort appears dead in the water, and donors, like Heghmann, have lost hope.
And it’s not just donors whose lofty dreams have dwindled, Trump’s approval rating hit a new all-time low among registered voters this week, plummeting to 37.8 percentage points.
Voters’ dissatisfaction with the current administration has effectively bounced off Trump’s unbuilt Mexican border wall and reverberated throughout the nation. In an opinion piece by USA Today, self-described “Reagan-style conservative” Montel Williams blasted Republicans for failing their support base.
“Republicans need to own the fact that they’ve created a monster by lying to the base for the past seven years,” Williams wrote. “They need to come clean. The truth is that they don’t really think this is a good bill. They are afraid of their own voters, to whom they gave a bad idea as a battle cry.”