Halperin: GOP ‘Making the Same Mistake President Obama Made’ by Not Being Honest on Health Care

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Thursday's "Morning Joe" panel criticized Republicans’ attempts to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, and MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin said the party is doing too many of the things Barack Obama did in passing Obamacare.

Halperin said Obama made the mistake of being dishonest about the overall impacts of Obamacare legislation. He argued that making the same mistake will make it more difficult to pass their Obamacare replacement.

"They’re making many of the same mistakes President Obama made in passing health care: First and foremost, not being honest about what’s in their legislation and who it will impact. And that will make it harder to pass, and if it does pass, will be a huge substantive problem," Halperin said.

While campaigning for the legislation, Obama famously promised "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," which later won him Politifact's "lie of the year" award.

Halperin did reveal, despite the man setbacks Republicans have faced in passing health care legislation, that sources have told him Republicans have made progress on getting to 50 votes.

"On the politics of this, they are actually today closer to getting a successful Senate vote and a successful House vote than they were yesterday, according to congressional people I’ve talked to," Halperin said. "But the substance of it is really problematic for the party."

Host Joe Scarborough responded by saying Democrats followed regular order more closely.

"But wasn't that over the course of a year or something? We were talking about health care hearings and health care committee votes," Scarborough said. "They were actually going through a process."

The latest GOP bill, proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R., La.), uses block grants for states to replace the federal structure of Obamacare. Senate Republicans have until the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, to pass health care legislation under reconciliation rules with only a simple majority vote – 50 votes plus Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaker. After that date, passing Obamacare repeal legislation would require support from Democratic colleagues.

Democrats have strongly criticized the bill, but they are also in the midst of an internal debate about whether to continue with Obamacare or go to a single-payer system. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has proposed a "Medicare for All" plan to implement single-payer, and many high-profile Democratic senators such as Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) have signed onto it.

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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