Not a single Republican voted for final passage on Obamacare in 2010. And Republicans in both Houses have unanimously voted to repeal the deeply government-takeover of the health care sector. But Yuval Levin notes that some moderate House Republicans might vote for an alternative budget that envisions spending $1.6 trillion to implement Obamacare:
Some reports this morning suggest that some moderate House Republicans are enamored of a version of the Bowles-Simpson plan being offered up for a vote by Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette and Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, and might even be looking to that bill as a way to avoid voting for the Ryan budget.
It’s very hard to imagine that any House Republican would want to be caught voting for a budget that keeps Obamacare in place, cuts defense even more than the Obama budget, and—relative to the Ryan budget—raises taxes by $1.5 trillion and increases domestic discretionary spending by over $400 billion.
But most important, the LaTourette-Cooper proposal completely fails to address the chief driver of our coming fiscal disaster: health entitlement spending
Read the rest here. If the LaTourette-Cooper proposal is a failure as a matter of policy, it's hard to see how it's much better as a matter of politics. A budget that protects Obamacare and raises taxes is going to be far more unpopular (both in Republican primaries and in general elections) than the Ryan budget. And these moderate Republicans already voted for an almost identical version of the Ryan budget last year. This year's budget should be an improvement from their perspective because it incorporates some bipartisan compromises on Medicare reform that Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon supports. So it's hard to see how flip-flopping on the Ryan budget is going to help them in 2012 or in years to come.