Conservative media figures have attacked Republicans for voting to repeal a provision of the health care reform bill that mandates the businesses file 1099 forms to the IRS when they purchase more than $600 worth of goods or services from a vendor. These media figures also warn Republicans not to support similar measures in the future. They say the 1099 provision hurts business, but argue that voting for such provision is a "trap" for Republicans who want to repeal the entire health care reform bill.
On February 2, 81 senators voted in favor of a repeal of the 1099 provision, which both Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama, have called overly burdensome. Since then conservative media figures have been attacking Republicans for their vote:
- In a February 3 screed headlined "How The Stupid Party Gets Its Name," blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson attacked Republicans for going "along with the Democrats' changes to the onerous 1099 provision."
- In a February 7 Washington Post column, Marc Thiessen argued that by agreeing to amend the health care bill, "President Obama has laid a trap for Repubicans on health care" and by voting for the 1099 provision, "Republicans have seized on his offer."
- In a February 8 National Review Online blog post urging Republicans not to "take the bait," Carrie Severino highlighted Thiessen's arguments and suggested that by voting for the 1099 provision repeal Democrats were luring Republicans "into abandoning the fight to fully repeal Obamacare."
Erickson and Thiessen both state that the 1099 provision was harmful to businesses. So why do they argue against its repeal? In Erickson's words: "[D]oing this, instead of keeping the pain in place until Obamacare is repealed, makes the pain less and less. And as the pain becomes less and less because Republicans work with Democrats to 'fix' Obamacare, it becomes less and less likely that Obamacare will actually get repealed."
But are these conservative commentators really deluded enough to think that repeal of the Affordable Care Act is just around the corner? Perhaps. Or perhaps they are afraid that with a few fixes, calling for repeal of the health care reform law will become a real loser politically.