All In   |  May 10, 2013

Republicans cling to killing ‘Obamacare’

Republicans are set to vote to repeal ObamaCare for the 37th time. Chris Hayes talk about the Republicans’ efforts with the Center for American Progress' Neera Tanden.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> today president obama was out touting the concrete benefits of the affordable care act in honor of mother's day.

>> for three years now, this law has provided real and tangible benefits to millions of americans. women in particular now have more control over their own care than ever before.

>> the president's speech came just a day after john boehner announced another report for obamacare. this one for all the new guys.

>> we have 70 new members that have not had the opportunity to vote on the president's health care law . frankly, they've been asking for an opportunity to vote on it and we're going to give it to them.

>> then just get it done. boehner, however, was not done handing out red meat yesterday. he and mayor mcconnell respectfully declined to represent members to the advisory board , a group to contain medical spending, lovingly referred to by those on the right as obama's death panel. if it strikes you as odd or comical or even in kind of a way sad and pathetic that the house is taking up obamacare repeal for the 37th time, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. the last four or five years, republicans , particularly those in the house, have had two main objections. to destroy obama and make sure he is a one-term president, a ship that has now sailed, and to impose austerity. they clearly need to go to work every morning, the few days they do actually go to work which is diminishing. they can't stop aside from benghazi. it's all they have left. joining me now, president and ceo of american progress. she is in charge of health reform at the health services organization. do you have a bet how this obamacare is going to go down? is there a lot of suspense in washington, d.c.?

>> i have this funny feeling it might pass the house, but oddly enough, i don't think the president is going to sign it.

>> in all seriousness, the ipad thing to me drives me nuts. i know it's a little wonky, the independent payment advisory board --

>> i'm happy to wonk out.

>> let's do, then, because it's an important item and it reveals something politically that drives me crazy. there are lots of talk about long-term deficits, and they're driven by our health care spending, and the independent advisory board san interesting way to get experts together who compare the way treatments are given saying, hey, this works and this doesn't, and that, which is a cost containment method, has been the thing republicans have gone at as hard as anything in the bill.

>> it's not just the ipad. the great irony of the act is the republicans who championed for decades ways to save money in the health care system turned it around on a dime and called all efforts to save money in health care before the affordable health care act rationing health care . not only that, death panels, the whole panoplea of language they could use to destroy these efforts to help control cost. one could argue that it's in service of a broader strategy to dismantle medicare itself. these efforts in the affordable care act save money but they maintain medical care . instead what republicans have argued for is to have premium support on other strategies that actually undermine the medicare program and take away these actual initiatives that will maintain medicare as it is but save money for everyone else.

>> i want to read from this letter because i think it does a good job of distilling down the problem that republicans say they have. we write to respond to your march 29 , 2013 letter requesting that we submit the names of the individuals, blah, blah, blah. because the law will give the ibap's 15 unelected, unaccountable individuals the ability to deny seniors access to innovative care, we respectfully decline to recommend appointments. this says seniors should get treatment no matter how effective, no matter how much it costs forever. that is the position that is embodied in those words.

>> yes. while at the same time they want to dismantle the medicare program and turn it over to private insurers who will shift costs to seniors. one could argue that it's actually in service of a broad strategy undermining medicare because it's not really about actually giving seniors more choices in medicare . the irony of this whole thing is the ipad itself actually moves it out of government bureaucrats making this decision and gives it to experts, doctors, consumers, you know, patient advocates to actually look at why there is too much spending in the medicare system.

>> i want to ask you this question. if we got in a time machine to two or three years ago when you were inside the administration and we had an interview off the record, we weren't on television, but you were being honest --

>> i'm always honest.

>> of course. so if i said to you then, look ahead three years, where are you going to be politically? where is this bill going to be politically in terms of people's recognition of its tangible benefits? are we where you thought we would be? are you below? has the bill not seeped into the american consciousness as much as you thought it would, or is it about where you thought it would be?

>> well, you know, at the time that we went through the affordable care act , it was entirely clear that there were public ends launching the full effect of dismantling the law. what we've seen over the last couple of years is that when they haven't been able to use politics, they've used the courts to try to dismantle the law. now their essential strategy is to create so much confusion that people won't enroll in the health care exchanges in the coming months. so at the time i'm perhaps a little surprised that republicans have been so dogged for so long. i did think perhaps they would revert to their previous position of supporting things like reducing health care costs, et cetera , but they were a party that gives you death panels is really a party that's going to commit to assaulting the law for long term, and that's going to be a challenge for all of us who believe in making this law work. we have our work cut out for us, but we definitely have the opportunity now to inform people about what the exchanges are. the meat of the law is actually coming on now. the rubber is hitting the road over the next couple months. everything else has really been, you know, small steps compared to what's about to happen which is really the premise of coverage to 30 million americans, if not more. and that's why, you know, we really have to roll up our sleeves and kind of try and get through the fog that the conservative opposition has created.

>> thank you so much for your time tonight.

>> thank you.

>>> up next, i'll tell you why a bill just passed by republicans is dying to be turned into 30-second attack ads against every single one of them who voted yes.