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Thune: Obamacare Bad Because Lawsuit May Kick People Off Obamacare

Dang it! I count on Dakota War College to keep me up to the minute on all of Senator John Thune’s ejaculations on public policy. But today, I have to turn to Larry Kurtz to get the latest shot of wisdom from our senior Senator:

Senator John Thune, tweet, 2015.06.08
Senator John Thune, tweet, 2015.06.08

The generally uninhibited Kurtz goes easy on Thune and suggests this nonsense more likely came from an overheated staffer “who went off in a fit of pique.”

Arguably harder on Thune was Republican Congressman from Michigan Justin Amash:

Rep. Justin Amash, tweet, 2015.06.08
Rep. Justin Amash, tweet, 2015.06.08

When even a confirmed Obamacare opponent can recognize the senselessness of Thune’s critique, do I really need to explain how wrong Thune is to say that a conservative lawsuit prioritizing technicalities over common sense to deprive millions of Americans of affordable health insurance made available by the ACA  shows that the ACA is bad and that the President should abandon it?

Ah, but I can’t resist. Senator Thune’s comment is like saying my plan to clean the living room is bad for my family because you unplugged the vacuum.

Senator Thune, the widespread concern that King v. Burwell could monkey-wrench the ACA and cost Americans millions seems to say just the opposite: we should be fighting to preserve the advantages Americans enjoy thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Instead of composing tweets that only the most uninformed citizens could take as honest argument, you, Senator Thune, should be making the simple statutory change that would render the case before the Supreme Court moot and protect the health coverage and pocketbooks of millions of Americans.

If plug comes loose, plug it back in, and let’s clean up the joint!


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 19:16

    Oferpete’ssake. Did SD’s face just turn red?

  2. owen 2015-06-08 19:20

    I’m guessing all four on Mt. Rushmore did Deb

  3. larry kurtz 2015-06-08 19:43

    general inhibition r us.

  4. mike from iowa 2015-06-08 20:01

    He got it wrong because he was looking at himself in the mirror where everything appears backward.

  5. Donald Pay 2015-06-08 20:21

    I love the Amash retort. Just underneath the words you can almost hear, “Johnny, you’re nothing but a suit.” Republicans criticized the ACA for being too complex. Now we know why. They can’t think beyond the number of characters in a tweet. Where is the Republican alternative? That might take more thought than Johnny can handle.

  6. Dana P 2015-06-08 20:36

    I thought Mr Thune would have learned by now – ref his easy ride in South Dakota to this point. Johnny, you are better when you just stand there behind McConnell – say nothing – do nothing – just smile.

    So, by making this odd statement, does this mean that Mr Thune is for putting together a bill that would change the one hangup that the plaintiffs have in King v. Burwell? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  7. leslie 2015-06-08 20:36

    thune is so articulate. thune for president :)

    good day for republicans. Coulter said blind and disabled immigrants should be barred and learn english. trump said krauthammer is an idiot because krauthammer said trump had no chance in a presidential bid. sarasarah palin got mad and said someone called her daughter an idiot because her daughter said some rape and molestation is ok. and bauchman said immigrants should be converted to christianity.

    i did not catch hannity and limbaugh, leaders of the republican party today.

    ***wapo reports today that for-profit hospitals often charge uninsured patients 10-12.5 times the cost of health care services rendered.

    i think republican philosophy and corporate medical business models are skewed.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 20:47

    Yeah Leslie, “i think republican philosophy and corporate medical business models are skewed.”

    Just a little bit.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 20:53

    Maybe Justin Amash is Frank Underwood, planning ahead for his run for Senate and his supplanting of Thune as heir to McConnell’s leadership position.

  10. David Newquist 2015-06-08 20:57

    The Mother Jones headline reads: A Republican Senator Just Sent Out a Tweet So Stupid Our Children Will Learn About It in Stories

    People forget that when Thune was a representative, he said and did things of this caliber consistently. Then he hired Dick Wadhams to be his script writer and only occasionally went off script to do things like vociferously oppose the taxation of cow farts as methane emissions, salthough no one proposed taxing them. The South Dakota plurality feels comfortable only with politicians that make them feel smart.

  11. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 21:03

    His tweet does reveal a rather frightening thought process, or, more accurately, the complete absence of any thought processes.

  12. Jana 2015-06-08 21:04

    Thune’s job as the #3 man in the Senate is to be their voice. He takes that job seriously and if it embarrasses the people of South Dakota…so be it.

    John, or somebody on your staff…please tell us more and that this was a mistake and not a deliberate attempt to embarrass the good citizens of South Dakota.

    One thing we can be sure of, John is now more concerned about representing the Senate power base than he is representing South Dakota.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 21:34

    Vickie, that bumper sticker is a thing of beauty. Where can I get one?

  14. jerry 2015-06-08 21:52

    I like the bumper sticker as well. Tehran John is high on something to pull that out of his arse.

  15. jerry 2015-06-08 21:53

    Tehran John and Daugaard were comparing notes on who was the dumbest, it was a tie.

  16. MOSES 2015-06-08 21:57

    Where can i get the bumper sticker tehran John at.

  17. jerry 2015-06-08 22:17

    Democrats still do not have the stones to produce that bumper sticker Moses. One of these days it may happen though. In fact, it may happen if he gets a rightwinger challenger.

  18. Loren 2015-06-08 22:19

    Presidential material?? Yah, right!

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 22:34

    Loren, Thune could have meant to say what he said. Never misunderestimate the GOP’s affinity for candidates with strategery.

  20. leslie 2015-06-08 23:18

    Once, npr/pbs had same effect for adults.

  21. Kurt Evans 2015-06-08 23:48

    Thune’s tweet says:
    >“Six million people risk losing their health care subsidies, yet @POTUS continues to deny that Obamacare is bad for the American people.”

    How dare that nasty Obamacare take away people’s health care subsidies!
    (DISCLAIMER: The preceding sentence is intended as irony.)

    The doublespeak in Thune’s tweet beautifully encapsulates his uncanny ability to offend libertarians and the left at the same time.

  22. Vickie 2015-06-09 00:07

    I saw that bumper sticker posted on twitter by someone else responding to Thune’s tweet. I loved it so I saved it to my PC and tweeted too. I just may have to have one of those made because it says exactly how I feel about Thune…except without cuss words. hahahaha

  23. Jenny 2015-06-09 01:08

    Most employer based health insurance premiums have gone up, which was expected. Mine went up considerably, but it’s not the end of the world for me. Where I worked we had it good for so long with unbelievably low monthly premiums.
    People need to remember that millions of people that were not able to get insured for various reasons such as unaffordability and certain healthcare diagnoses were able to get on plans such as MNSURE here in MN. What is needed now is to start, and I have heard this from the doctors themselves, cracking down on the doctors that order unnecessary tests that are not needed. Doctors can be as corrupted as the health insurance companies themselves. CT scans and MRIs are incredibly expensive and should only be ordered in the most severe medical cases. I have seen doctors order them on 13 year olds with stomach pain from menstrual periods , or a person having toothaches, or headaches. This is incredibly reckless and drives healthcare costs up. There is some probably some definite illegal kickbacks going on with doctors from the Radiology companies and big pharma more than we know and this needs to be looked into and stopped.

  24. Jenny 2015-06-09 01:35

    And don’t even get me started on the prescription drug crisis in America. Doctors are a huge player in getting millions of people addicted with not giving a second thought in taking out their big pharma pen and scribbling their oxycodone prescription for the willing patient that can’t wait to get her high from it. The things I have learned from working in healthcare these past two decades, sigh….

  25. jerry 2015-06-09 07:27

    You are correct Jenny, the war on drugs should not be directed against cannabis, it should be fought by all of us against the big pharma who addicts people with very expensive “legal” drugs that our insurance plans pay for. They prey on doctors with promises of richness by a renewal system that encourages the docs to prescribe intoxicating drugs like a dealer on the street. Pusher doctors and dealer big pharma along with crooked politicos who encourage the high costs of pharmaceuticals, are a clear and present danger to our country. They must be regulated like any other business that intoxicates. Lets hope that Obamacare will continue to allow more competition like we have in the VA when it comes to purchasing pharmaceuticals to help put the greed and the corruption out of that industry.

  26. Francis Schaffer 2015-06-09 07:44

    Thune’s statement made me think; ‘South Dakota is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get’.

  27. Eve Fisher 2015-06-09 07:55

    Can we give Thune to Texas? I think he just officially passed the Texas political candidacy test.

  28. Lynn 2015-06-09 08:12


    Good idea! It would be great to re-locate his permanent residence to Texas City south of Houston which is basically just oil refineries and chemical plants aka Cancer Alley. He’s fit right in there with their attitude of getting the government out of the way and getting rid of regulations.

  29. mike from iowa 2015-06-09 08:33

    Marlboro Man Barbie would be a perfect fit in Texas only if his horse is stump broke.

  30. jerry 2015-06-09 08:52

    Excellent mikefromiowa, many thanks

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-09 10:18

    Thune won’t acknowledge his nonsense. But the article Dave offers links to a nice 2012 WaPo article that explains the ACA language in question in King v. Burwell:

    Amend Section 1401 to read “…through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 or 1321“, and this case is moot and Thune and the Senate save millions of Americans’ health insurance. The fix is shorter than a Tweet! Do it, John!

  32. Douglas Wiken 2015-06-09 16:13

    And on NPR this morning some commentary about the GOP plan to blame Obama if SCOTUS rules parts of it unconsitutional and that causes people to lose the insurance they gained. It was suggested that this might be a hard sell.

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