Repeal Obamacare: Again?

Republicans continue to categorize Obamacare as a bitter pill for America. Photo: Majority Leader John Boehner won the vote, but lost the battle AP photo

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 — Republican politicians, particularly in the House, are obsessed with Obamacare. Not because they think it’s the best thing since Al Gore “invented” the Internet, but because they see it as the embodiment of all things wrong with the Obama presidency.

Yesterday, the Republican-controlled voted to repeal Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) 229-195 with two Democrats also voting for the bill. The Republican leadership said the vote has been called to allow any new members of Congress to vote for its repeal.

This is the 37th time. While it passed in the House, it will never go any further.

The Democratically-controlled Senate will not give it the time of day. Even if it were to pass the Senate, President Obama would veto it in a New York minute. Obamacare is his baby and he’s committed to it “110 percent.”

The Republican Obsession with Obamacare

So why are Republicans wasting precious legislative time on a doomed vote, over and over and over? Since 2011, they have devoted 15% of their time and energy on their fruitless repeal bill.

Michele Bachman speaks at CPAC 2013 (TWT Communities / Jacquie Kubin)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) summed it the best: “Albert Einstein defined insanity as follows: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If his definition is true — and I won’t argue with Einstein — then House Republicans have truly lost their minds.”

So is this a case of mass insanity gripping the Grand Old Party? It may seem like that most days, but it’s all part of GOP game blame to be a thorn in Obama’s side. The doomed vote is scheduled to keep the base happy: “See, we want to overturn Obamacare and we keep trying, so vote for us again in 2014.” Then there is the added plus of the bill being an irritant to their Democratic colleagues in House.

Obamacare must be repealed, thunders House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), because “it’s going to raise the price of health care, raise the cost of health insurance, reduce access to the American people, and continue to get in the way of employers hiring new workers.”

The High Cost of Repealing Obamacare

Great talking points, Tan John, but not true. All of your continued votes, now totaling 37, have actually cost taxpayers $55 million to do, not chump change. Voting in the House is not cheap. However, just think what that $55 million could buy. $50 million of it could help states implement paid sick leave for the 40% of their workers who don’t have that option.

However, it could be worse: The Repeal Obamacare bill could have pass, erasing health care benefits for 100 million Americans, and President Obama in a moment of madness, having caught the GOP bug, could have signed it, resulting in an economic catastrophe for America. The deficit would then have increase by $100 billion within the next ten years. 

But the toll would have been worse on health consumers with 17 million children and 129 million adults who have pre-existing conditions once again be in the clutches of the insurance companies, who could deny them health care of any kind. And six million seniors who get now discounts on their prescription drugs, currently worth around $6 billion, would see those discounts evaporate. And that’s just for starters.

Most Americans just don’t understand Obamacare and all that it does for them, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation poll. In fact 4 in 10 Americans or 40% don’t even know it is now the law of the land and is already being implemented in stages. The source of this  ignorance of Obamacare probably springs, as the poll shows, from the sad fact that they get most of their information from conversations with friends and family.

We all know how knowledgeable Aunt Bertha and Uncle Harry can be.

Meanwhile Americans like parts of  Obamacare, but they have an antipathy to Obamacare per se until they are told what it really entails and how they benefit. But for now Obamacare is a dirty word for quite a few Americans and the Republicans continue to play to their fears and ignorance.

So for the 37th time Republicans thumped their chests and bellowed from the House floor like agitated elephants about the evils of Obamacare.  And it won’t be the last time we see this exercise in futility either.

You have to wonder what Albert Einstein would have thought of this latest display of political insanity until he realized that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman is the one who introduced the bill — again.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe

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