U.S. House Representative Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has criticized the media for its coverage of the government shutdown, claiming Congress’ intentions in regards to the Affordable Care Act have been misrepresented. He insisted that House Republicans are not intending to fully repeal the new health care legislation. However, he also implies that that would be an ideal outcome.
“You guys in the media continue to report that what conservatives were asking for was a full repeal of Obamacare -- that’s absolutely false,” Labrador said at a meeting with reporters in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. earlier today.
“We have never asked for a full repeal of Obamacare because we know we can’t get that,” he added.
Labrador didn’t reference any media source or publication directly, nor did he mention specific coverage in which a media outlet claimed the House wanted to repeal all aspects of Obamacare, although such coverage does exist.
He continued his argument with the following lengthy statement (quoted in Huffington Post): We have voted on a full repeal of Obamacare that the Senate has rejected every single time. But what we were asking for, our position from the beginning, was exchanging a one-year [continuing resolution] for a one-year delay of Obamacare. That was something that we thought both sides were giving on something. We would be giving on the fact that we wouldn't be fighting the president anymore for a year on funding the government, and the president would be giving on a one-year delay of Obamacare. So every time you write a story that says that Republicans and conservatives were unreasonable in asking for a complete repeal of Obamacare, you have actually been lying to the American people.”
Labrador is correct in that the House is not currently attempting to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have, however, attempted to do so in the past, so such claims by the media cannot be considered as lies to the American people. Several prominent House Republicans have maintained that they do, in fact want to repeal the law, yet they have to work within the current system of government not in order to achieve their ideal, but a practical result. The Democrats had to change the law several times in order to appeal to the Republicans, and vice versa. That is the way the U.S. government works.