The House of Representatives voted yesterday to repeal the centerpiece of
President Obama’s first term in office. To hear congressional Republicans tell
it, healthcare reform is well on its way to repeal. The voters certainly
dislike the landmark law, and if their voices carry to the corridors of the
Senate and that body votes for repeal, the Congress will have spoken.
And yet, that’s where it will end. In fact, few in this town believe the
legislation will ever get to the other side of the dome. Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid (D-Nev.) still controls that chamber’s calendar, and no one sees him
bringing up the bill anytime soon.
Dream a little more and say the Senate does the unthinkable. There’s no way
Obama signs the bill to repeal his own measure.
Bad news for conservatives and Republicans in the new AP healthcare poll, which
has the following results:
Number of voters who favor stronger healthcare laws that do more: 43
percent. Number who favor repeal: only 26 percent. Number who favor the current
law: 19 percent. Number who favor a healthcare law that does less: 10
The debate over healthcare reform will be a fascinating one, and already its
unexpected twists and turns illustrate that no one can tell exactly where this
showdown is ultimately headed.
As Republicans prepare to vote next week (Jan. 12) on a full repeal of the
entire law enacted last March, Democrats are gearing up for a public-relations
blitz, hoping to defend the program and reframe it in time for the next
election. No matter that it was radioactive during the recent election
just two months ago and Democrats chose not to campaign on its virtues. The
now largely liberal and quite diminished Democratic Caucus is ready to sing its
praises in the face of a sustained GOP effort to undermine what's left of healthcare's
appeal. Polling shows the bill's disapproval at between 50 and 60
What phonies! Most of the Republicans in Congress who want to repeal the
healthcare law are now demanding that they keep government-sponsored
insurance for themselves. This includes many Tea Party members of
Excuse me? They oppose what they call a government takeover of healthcare,
unless they benefit from it, in their government plans, which they
demand they keep. Every honest Tea Party voter and every true
conservative should demand that no Republican practice the hypocrisy
of trying to repeal healthcare reform for others while fighting to keep
their government healthcare plans for themselves.
We see the new members of the Republican freshman class (and most of them are “men”) just chafing at the bit to “repeal” the healthcare bill — lock, stock and barrel.
And the date they have chosen for this hysterical (as opposed to “historical”) vote? Next Wednesday, January 12 … Rush Limbaugh’s 60th birthday… how appropriate! A gimmick, a charade, political payback to the Tea Party — to be sure.
It’s funny to watch Washington Republicans squirm to square their simultaneous call to end access to healthcare for 32 million Americans while keeping a white-knuckling grip on their own government-sponsored healthcare.
The healthcare law will not be repealed. Attempts to repeal healthcare reform
will be a big loser for Republicans. Some of the most vehement Republicans
pushing for repeal will find their seats endangered in 2012 because of
There will be some changes enacted that will include provisions appealing to
conservatives, and provisions appealing to liberals, but the most radical advocates
of repeal are in for a rude political awakening.
Judge Hudson's ruling was correct. You can't mandate that "we the people"
must purchase healthcare. Unlike a federal mandate that you must have a driver’s
license to drive: It's not unlawful not to have a license, for you don't have to
drive. However, in order to live you do have to exist. If we allow the government
to make such unreasonable mandates, where does it all end?
If the healthcare mandate is defunded, what will we replace it with? It's not enough
to celebrate the defeat of ObamaCare. We still have significant problems with cost
and access. Unless we address the issues, we will again find ourselves in a crisis
mode that will lead to more bad legislation. We need to find immediate solutions
to guide effective healthcare reform.
The prevailing assumption throughout the healthcare debate was that Republicans
were a monolith — all of them rich, well-to-do whites who themselves, of
course, couldn’t possibly have known anyone who lacked health insurance — not
even anyone from the huge swath of poor whites who lack it — and that their
opposition to running a healthcare system for more than 300 million people out
of Washington couldn’t have stemmed from a different understanding of economics
or public policy, but instead necessarily had to have been motivated by the
drive to keep minorities out of their hospitals.