Conservative media cheered the passage of the revised AHCA.

Today in Conservative Media: Cheering for a Once-Hated Bill

Today in Conservative Media: Cheering for a Once-Hated Bill

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May 4 2017 5:33 PM

Today in Conservative Media: Cheering for a Once-Hated Bill

Rep. Mark Meadows, whomBreitbart credits with the bill's passage.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

In the hours before the House voted on the GOP’s controversial Obamacare replacement, conservative media was uncharacteristically subdued, perhaps because many outlets had opposed prior iterations of the legislation. Those who did offer takes were mostly negative. In National Review, Rich Lowry called out the GOP’s procedural hypocrisy, writing, “The rush to put it on the floor as soon as they got the votes is violating everything Republicans said about the importance of a careful, deliberative process during the Obamacare debate.” LifeZette went alarmist, quoting a “prominent cardiologist” who warned the bill would “eventually lead to a full government takeover of the health care system.”


After the bill’s passage, however, the tone grew more jubilant. In “BREAKING: House Republicans Pass Obamacare Repeal – 217-213,” Gateway Pundit stressed that the bill had passed despite the failure of any Democrats to join in the attempt “to repeal the failed Obamacare law.” Picking up on this thread, others treated it as a much-needed triumph for the fragmented Republican wing of the House: “GOP Victory: House Votes to Repeal Obamacare (Finally),” a LifeZette headline read. That article applauded Republican efforts “to end the national policy nightmare known as Obamacare.”

“Pundits dubbed the original bill ‘Ryancare,’” noted Breitbart, a site which had consistently referred to the original bill as “Ryancare.” Breitbart’s Sean Moran stressed the role that Rep. Mark Meadows played in the successful vote. “Meadows’ efforts in no small part seem to have succeeded where Ryan failed,” he wrote, adding, “some have begun calling [Meadows] the acting speaker of the House in the wake of Ryan’s failures.”

In a piece for Fox News’ website, columnist Liz Peek was more inclined to give credit to the president. “GOP members of the House finally climbed aboard the Trump Train,” Peek wrote. Though she acknowledged that the still-unreleased Congressional Budget Office report on the bill might indicate that “some people will lose coverage,” she nevertheless suggested that it was a fair price to pay, given “how many Americans have stopped going to the doctor because their ObamaCare deductible is just too high.” Washington Examiner also gave Trump the credit, citing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s suggestion that he had taken “a helping of advice from President Trump on how to collect votes for the bill.

On his radio broadcast, Rush Limbaugh warned his listeners not to get ahead of themselves in their enthusiasm, reminding them that the bill still had to pass the Senate. “The bill has passed in the House.  So the Obamacare repeal and replace has passed in the House, and now there’s going to be a party like it has become law.  But it hasn’t yet,” he said.

But even when they weren’t celebrating, conservative outlets still found opportunities to mock Democrats. “Obamacare Replacement Will Kill People, Warren Claims,” declared the headline of a Daily Caller article that insisted Senator Elizabeth Warren had offered no evidence in support of her assertion. Others called out House Democrats for chanting “Na-na-na goodbye” in response to the vote. “There are conflicting reports whether the Democrats were chanting this in anticipation of the Republicans losing in 2018 for passing the repeal or if it were [sic] Republicans chanting in celebration of finally repealing the failure known as Obamacare,” Gateway Pundit wrote. Breitbart brought up this detail on its homepage (though it did not mention it in the article), where it suggested that those who had chanted were “children.”

On Facebook, enthusiastic posts about the bill began to spread rapidly from conservative pages: