October 18, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

There are two reasons why the Republican quest to rid the land of Obamacare is going nowhere. First, unless the GOP takes over the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, the Affordable Care Act will stay on the books. Second, opponents have yet to articulate what they would replace the increasingly popular (relatively speaking, of course) law with. But that’s not stopping the deadenders on Capitol Hill. They are not giving up.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is the poster boy for reason number one. His stupefying tactics to defund Obamacare, despite not having the votes in the Senate to pass or a president who would actually sign such a bill,  led to the 16-day government shutdown. And in an interview yesterday with ABC News, he didn’t rule out a repeat performance.

I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.

The poster boy for reason number two is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Predicting “an all-out revolt” against the health care law on Sean Hannity’s television show on Wednesday, Rubio said, “And that is, I think, the moment to absolutely act and say we are going to get rid of this law and then look for opportunities in the future to replace it.”

Replace it? In the future? Totally unacceptable.

Obamacare is much bigger than the stunning embarrassment that is the federal roll out of the health care exchange website. What happens to the 26-years-old-and-under crowd now enjoying health care on their parents’ insurance policies? Will insurance companies still have to provide insurance regardless of pre-existing condition? Will the elimination of lifetime caps on coverage remain or will they be reinstated? And if Obamacare is repealed what happens to the exchanges and the people who bought into them? What will replace them?

If Republicans insist on repealing and replacing the health care law and all that it does already — in the name of the American people, no less — then we the people must insist on knowing the answers to the questions above. Not “in the future.” Now.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.