BILL HEMMER (HOST): In these negotiations, is Obamacare being negotiated?This, of course, despite the fact that the CBO estimates that the law will reduce the deficit already, by $210 billion in the next decade and about $1 trillion over its second decade. Of course, Cantor and Boehner don't believe that analysis. Boehner said it was just CBO's "opinion" and Cantor refused to believe it because "most Americans don't like the health care bill." Solid arguments, there.
CANTOR: If the president is serious about joining us and fixing the problem, he ought to be putting Obamacare on the table. There is no question in my mind,that is the largest expansion of government programs that we’ve seen.
HEMMER: Can you say at the moment that that is being talked about?
CANTOR: All I can say is that the president has got to get serious and the Speaker is correct, that Obamacare is such an expansion of government spending and involvement in folks’ lives it ought to be on the table.
HEMMER: You wonder what he is willing to concede on that.
The White House has already answered this, saying that Obamacare is entirely off the table. To emphasize the point, an aide to Senate Democratic leadership said the demand is "a total nonstarter. Boehner's office knows that, so even bringing it up is counterproductive."
It's absolutely counterproductive. It also undermines this supposed attempt by Republicans to demonstrate flexibility on increasing revenue. The election didn't change anything as far as Republicans are concerned. They're still going to fight the Affordable Care Act and they're still going to protect millionaires' tax cuts. What has to be different this time is how President Obama and the Senate Democrats deal with them.