Yesterday, I reluctantly dinged House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) for veering off-message after bravely introducing and winning House passage of badly needed Medicare reforms. Each said ill-advised things to the media that undermined the long-term goal of Medicare reform. I even emailed some colleagues, “Why can’t they stay on-message, as they have with ObamaCare?”
As if on cue, it appears that House Ways & Means Committee chairman David Camp (R-MI) may have outdone both Cantor and Ryan. Huffington Post reports that Camp used the word “dead” to describe the effort to repeal ObamaCare.
I know, I know, he probably only meant that repeal is dead in this Congress. Yes, yes, he was backed into it by a reporter. Yeah, he will probably push for repeal in the next Congress, just as he did in this Congress. Is Huffington Post seizing on the word dead and painting an inaccurate picture of just how much Camp really, really wants to get rid of this intolerable law? No doubt all of this is true. None of it matters one bit.
Camp is the chairman of a powerful congressional committee. He should know that’s exactly what reporters are trying to do. And he should know how to stick to the script. Rather than use his comments to signal once again how committed he is to ensuring that ObamaCare never takes full effect in 2014, he gave us a news cycle — hopefully no more than one — where the words ObamaCare, repeal, and dead appear in the same sentence.