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House Will Vote Again To Repeal Obamacare, Mostly Pointlessly

During the 112th Congress, House Republicans cast votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, in whole or in part some thirty-three times. Each of those efforts died in the Senate, of course, and, even if they hadn’t, they would have been vetoed by the President. Now, it looks like they’re going to go through the whole pointless exercise again:

The House will vote again next week to repeal the 2010 health-care reform law, a decision by top Republican leaders designed in part to appease GOP freshmen lawmakers who have not had an opportunity to take a vote on the issue.

House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.), who sets the House schedule, announced on Twitter on Wednesday that the vote will occur next week: “It just keeps getting worse. I am scheduling a vote for next week on the full repeal of #Obamacare.”

Cantor’s decision to schedule the vote comes as he’s devoted most of the House calendar in recent months to a series of bills that fit within his “making life work” agenda that emphasizes kitchen-table issues over slashing federal spending. Among such bills is the “Working Families Flexibility Act,” which would give private employers the option of offering workers additional time off in lieu of overtime pay and is set for a vote Wednesday.

Cantor had to pull another bill, called the “Helping Sick Americans Now Act,” two weeks ago amid opposition from conservatives who didn’t like that the measure would redistribute millions of dollars in funding established by the health-care law, but not repeal the entire law.

Several Republican aides say that Cantor’s decision to hold a vote on repealing the law will serve two mutually beneficial purposes for House Republicans: It will give about 30 House GOP freshmen who’ve never voted on such a bill the opportunity to do so — and then likely secure Cantor enough support to finally pass the “Helping Sick Americans Now Act.” In turn, those freshmen will be able to go home and tell constituents that they’ve voted to repeal the unpopular law, and Cantor will have succeeded in advancing his agenda.

If that’s what’s really involved here, then perhaps this isn’t quite as big a waste a time as all the other times the House GOP did this over the last two years. That will depend on what else Cantor is interested in advancing, and whether he can get his fellow Republicans to go along with it. For the moment, though, this looks like more pointless wheel spinning that will accomplish more than feed some meat to the GOP’s Tea Party base.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Caj says:

    They have been trying to repeal that since 2000 BC! That’s how absolutely ridiculous Republicans are!! Instead of working for the good of the country, these time wasting fools keep doing this over and over and over! People are sick and tired of their time wasting and utterly stupid games. Hope to God these idiots get thrown out of office in 2014. We need serious people in there who actually give a damn about the country!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  2. If that’s what’s really involved here, then perhaps this isn’t quite as big a waste a time as all the other times the House GOP did this over the last two years.

    But still a waste of time…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. legion says:

    But now all those Teabagger Freshmen can get their “NO-bama” merit badges!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  4. Rob in CT says:

    @legion:

    Seriously.

    It will give about 30 House GOP freshmen who’ve never voted on such a bill the opportunity to do so

    Assholes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  5. mantis says:

    Several Republican aides say that Cantor’s decision to hold a vote on repealing the law will serve two mutually beneficial purposes for House Republicans: It will give about 30 House GOP freshmen who’ve never voted on such a bill the opportunity to do so — and then likely secure Cantor enough support to finally pass the “Helping Sick Americans Now Act.” In turn, those freshmen will be able to go home and tell constituents that they’ve voted to repeal the unpopular law, and Cantor will have succeeded in advancing his agenda.

    Great. So new reps will have another pointless exercise to point to and pretend they are interested in governing. Then Cantor can try to pass a ridiculously stupid bill that will divert prevention and public health funds to fund the short-term plan meant to help cover people with preexisting conditions until 2014, at which point insurers will no longer be able to deny them coverage. So basically Cantor wants to fund a stop-gap for the ban on pre-existing conditions while at the same time trying to repeal the ACA, and the ban on pre-existing conditions along with it, throwing the people he is claiming to “help” in 2013 back into the buzzsaw in 2014. Republicans are nothing but sociopathic liars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  6. Jumbo says:

    And all because a black man won two elections?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Why doesn’t the House just get to their point – which is to impeach the president. They could spare everyone the bad kabuki and have the Judiciary Committee draft the articles of impeachment now. Also I’ve drafted some boilerplate Forbes to use: “Benghazi, Broke campaign promises, reverend Wright, Saul Alinsky.” I realize that list of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not exhaustive, but it’s enough to impeach, right?

    We know what happens – the House impeaches Obama, the Senate does not convict, and we repeat this cycle 4 years from now with President Hillary Clinton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  8. Tyrell says:

    It will not pass, but it is far from pointless. Not when you have businesses cutting hours and employees to avoid Obama care mandates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  9. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    Not when you have businesses cutting hours and employees to avoid Obama care mandates. paying their employees fair compensation despite record corporate profits, an ever-widening pay gap between workers and management, and a record-breaking stock market.

    FTFY.

    But please, do tell us what the point of repealing the ACA would be, besides making sure that millions of Americans go without health care insurance, sick folks continue to be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, insurance companies continue to arbitrarily revoke coverage for sick people, more health care premiums go towards anything but health care, and protecting insurance companies ability to set annual and lifetime limits on people with chronic conditions, forcing them into the poorhouse or the grave? I mean, other than a sadistic hatred of your fellow man, that is.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  10. Franklin says:

    If they only spent this energy on coming up with a valid alternative, they could easily change their image from heartless reactionaries. Cleary, though, they have no ideas how to do that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. Caj says:

    Republicans should give an alternative! They haven’t one. They are all just a bunch of parrots. Repeal Obamacare. Repeal Obamacare. Repeal Obamacare. God forbid someone in the media should actually wake up and ask any Republican a tough question on why the repeal again and what would they replace it with!! Republicans are stuck on stupid and the dumb downed media aren’t far behind!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. Woody says:

    This proposal, like the BENGHAZI! hearings, has only one purpose: to give the GOP/Fox media new clips and soundbites and their House newbies some rockin’ cred.

    Not to worry, the rest of the courtier media will continue to wring their hands and plead for some leadership from the President to bridge the gap. In no way will this give the GOP further incentive to play-act rather than govern.

    After all that hard work, they will then attend tonight’s must-attend do in McLean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. @Woody:

    like the BENGHAZI! hearings

    Now I’m getting the mental image: BENGHAZI!: A Tea Party Musical

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. @Tyrell:

    Not when you have businesses cutting hours and employees to avoid Obama care mandates.

    This again?

    Hey, sure the franchisee with 40 locations is a businessman…..but they’re not cutting hours because of Obamacare. They’re cutting hours because they have a crappy business model.

    But hey, if that hasn’t sunk in yet……you’ll never get it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. rudderpedals says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    BENGHAZI!: A Tea Party Musical.
    Winner of 5 Phony Awards

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. edmondo says:

    Maybe the GOP knows what everyone in DC already knows. Obamacare is a trainwreck waiting to happen and it ain’t gonna fix much — unless you own an insurance company.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/05/why-are-people-with-health-insurance-going-bankrupt.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  17. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    How is Obamacare worse than doing nothing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  18. @edmondo:

    Maybe the GOP knows what everyone in DC already knows. Obamacare is a trainwreck waiting to happen and it ain’t gonna fix much

    Leaving open the possibility that Obamcare is indeed a trainwreck, do you think it was responsible for the GOP to engage in all that “death panel” and “socialized medicine” stuff? Was it wise for the GOP to put all their “mandate” eggs in the Supreme Court’s basket?

    I’m not wedded to Obamacare. I mark it as a slight improvement of what we had before, but it’s by no means ideal.

    I just wonder why Republicans and their sympathizers think they share no blame. Your politicians lied about it before, during and after implementation. They had no alternative, no plan to stop it and falling to stop it, no plan to improve it. Even now, all they can do is predict its failure and cross their fingers.

    It’s sad that the GOP chose this method of operation, but what gets me is the rank and file is totally on board with it. Why? What’s the angle? This strategy is obviously destined to fail. Why the support?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  19. PJ says:

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  20. edmondo says:

    @David M:

    How is Obamacare worse than doing nothing?

    Let’s see?in the first ten years it is estimated that a trillion dollars will be transferred from the government to big insurance companies for providing shitty health insurance that only covers 70& of the patients’ medical costs leaving 30 percent of the costs of all bronze plan holders to pay out of their pockets? What could go wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  21. edmondo says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    Your politicians lied about it before, during and after implementation.

    Since I’ve only voted for two Republicans in my life – the Democrats at the time were under indictment and ended up going to prison – my politicians did indeed lie when they passed this awful law because my elected representatives were Democrats

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  22. mantis says:

    @edmondo:

    Let’s see?in the first ten years it is estimated that a trillion dollars will be transferred from the government to big insurance companies for providing shitty health insurance that only covers 70& of the patients’ medical costs leaving 30 percent of the costs of all bronze plan holders to pay out of their pockets? What could go wrong?

    Inaccuracies in your characterization notwithstanding, do you think those people would be better off with no insurance at all? Because that’s the alternative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  23. rudderpedals says:

    @edmondo: The out of pocket is there as a sop to the nuts who want to ensure ill people have “skin in the game” despite impenetrable market opacity, a sadistic sick theory if you think about it but that’s part of what makes it a conservative plan. Your arguments are answered best by a truly socialized national health care service. I don’t think we’ll get one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. Tony W says:

    Repealing Obamacare in the House? Wow, is it the 2nd Tuesday of the month already again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. mantis says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Your arguments are answered best by a truly socialized national health care service. I don’t think we’ll get one

    We sure as hell weren’t going to get one in 2008-2009. What we got is not great, but it’s progress. I thought progressives were supposed to like progress. Right, @edmondo?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. Tony W says:

    @edmondo: Well, that’s what the Heritage Foundation wanted, so that’s what we have. Hopefully it will be shitty enough (to use your term) that we finally get to a single payer. Many smart folks believe that’s the strategy – I’m on board.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. edmondo says:

    @mantis:

    These aren’t my numbers. They belong to the Congressional Budget Office. Do you have different ones or just your opinion?

    http://news.yahoo.com/cbo-obamacare-price-tag-shifts-940-billion-1-163500655.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  28. James Pearce says:

    @edmondo:

    “my politicians did indeed lie when they passed this awful law because my elected representatives were Democrats “

    Really? Well, just got a message from Eric Cantor and John Boehner for you. It says, “Thanks for your support.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. anjin-san says:

    Could it be that the sky is not falling?

    Slowdown in Health Costs’ Rise May Last as Economy Revives
    By ANNIE LOWREY
    Published: May 6, 2013

    WASHINGTON — One of the economic mysteries of the last few years has been the bigger-than-expected slowdown in health spending, a trend that promises to bolster wages and help close the wide federal deficit over the long term — but only if it persists.

    Major new studies from researchers at Harvard University, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and elsewhere have concurred that at least some of the slowdown is unrelated to the recession, and might persist as the economy recovers. David M. Cutler, the Harvard health economist and former Obama adviser, estimates that, given the dynamics of the slowdown, economists might be overestimating public health spending over the next decade by as much as $770 billion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/business/slowdown-in-rise-of-health-care-costs-may-persist.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. KariQ says:

    @edmondo:

    That article is repeating the right-wing misunderstanding of the CBO’s study, by excluding the revenue and taxes. Try checking out this one instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. Tyrell says:

    @mantis: I am looking here at small businesses and hearing from their employees. Yes, large businesses and corporations can afford to do much better for their employees, but instead are being ran by people getting huge salaries, luxury benefits. bonuses, and severance packages while cutting wages and laying off employees. Many of these large corporations are actually receiving federal contracts and money. One example are the banks, but try to get a loan from them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. edmondo says:

    @KariQ:

    It says “ONE TRILLION DOLLARS”

    That’s your report. Thanks for confirming my “right wing agenda” moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  33. edmondo says:

    @James Pearce:

    Well, just got a message from Eric Cantor and John Boehner for you. It says, “Thanks for your support.”

    It’s indirect support. I haven’t voted for one Democrat since they passed this god-awful bill. Nor will I ever again. Good luck taking back the House if I someone like me won’t vote for a Democratic congressional candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    One example are the banks, but try to get a loan from them.

    What exactly are you talking about? Last time I needed a loan, I got it. Ditto with the time before that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    @ edmondo

    Yahoo news is kind of a joke, they are mostly into sensationalist headlines and celebrity gossip. One reason is that they build stories around sources like Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, the driver of the story you reference. It’s not reporting, and it’s not journalism. It is partisan hackery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. KariQ says:

    @edmondo:

    Forgive me, edmondo, I thought you were attempting to make some sense. Of course, you are assuming that the entire cost of the program, all that money, will simply end up in the insurance companies’ pockets. The law does cap the percentage that companies can use for profit and overhead and requires them to spend 80% on health care. But let’s not let that stand in the way of incoherent ranting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  37. edmondo says:

    @anjin-san: @KariQ:

    OK, now I understand. The CBO and Yahoo news – two well-known right wing conservative house organs – got together in 2011 and cooked up a totally bogus financial analysis to make sure that I used it to argue against the impending Obamacare implementation. Yeah, right.

    Just out of curiosity, are Max Baucus (“a trainwreck coming”) and Harry Reid (“a total trainwreck”) part of this grand right wing conspiracy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  38. steve s says:

    If they only spent this energy on coming up with a valid alternative, they could easily change their image from heartless reactionaries. Cleary, though, they have no ideas how to do that.

    Back in the 1990′s, they did come up with a conservative alternative to clinton’s single-payer plan. It had an insurance mandate and subsidies for the poor and working poor. In other words, they came up with Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  39. steve s says:

    @Tyrell:

    I got a 0% interest loan for a ford fiesta last july, FWIW.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. KariQ says:

    @edmondo:

    Let me speak slowly: the entire program will cost that much. Much of that money will be sent supplementing medicaid. Some will be spent on premiums. Of the money spent on premiums, insurance companies are required to spend 80% on healthcare. Therefore, your argument that the money will be transferred to insurance companies is incorrect. It will overwhelmingly be spent on health care.

    As everyone else here has said, there are better ideas out there. But this is the one that could pass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  41. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    “which would give private employers the option of offering workers additional time off ”

    Three Card Monte, anyone?

    My favorite comp time story is the story of a friend of mine who accrued 1700 hours of “additional time off.” When he was laid off later, the company noted how sorry they were that he had never gotten permission to use any of it, but that since it was “time off,” it was not compensible in cash–at any rate of exchange.

    A shell game is a shell game is a shell game. But keep on trying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. anjin-san says:

    @ edmondo

    Dude, your “arguments” have been shredded a few times over now. But, if you have a taste for looking foolish in public, by all means keep digging…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. mantis says:

    Answer the question, edmondo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. HelloWorld! says:

    Now that the CBO has revised projects of health care costs, which show that because of HCR the budget is seeing significant savings, I hope these votes come back and haunt them!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Tyrell: Many of these large corporations are actually receiving federal contracts and money. One example are the banks, but try to get a loan from them. Hmmm…..I bet if you go occupy a park, something will happen.

    @edmondo:

    I haven’t voted for one Democrat since they passed this god-awful bill. Nor will I ever again. Good luck taking back the House if I someone like me won’t vote for a Democratic congressional candidate.

    Not only is the most idle threat imaginable, it’s a mistake to look in the mirror and think you see public opinion reflected back at you.

    When it comes to Republicans, it’s useful however to ask “Cui bono?” Considering that Obamacare is law and the House can’t do anything about it, you should ask yourself that question before you start voting GOP for House seats. If the hope is they’ll band together and save us from the tyranny of socialized medicine, prepare to have your hopes dashed…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    In the first ten years it is estimated that a trillion dollars will be transferred from the government to big insurance companies for providing shitty health insurance that only covers 70& of the patients’ medical costs leaving 30 percent of the costs of all bronze plan holders to pay out of their pockets

    I asked how Obamacare was worse than nothing, not what you don’t like about it. Your lack of an actual answer says quite a lot, similar to how the GOP tools have to fabricate things to make Obamacare sound like a bad deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. edmondo says:

    @David M:

    I’m sorry I wasn’t on this blog 24/7 to answer your questions – how selfish of me to go to work when you were waiting for another response to a question I already answered.

    Perhaps you can answer one for me. Which is better for the American people: going to a hospital emergency room because you have no health insurance or a health insurance policy you can’t use because you can’t afford a 30% co-pay? I already know which one is going to cost a trillion dollars. I wonder what we get for that kind of money?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  48. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    Which is better for the American people: going to a hospital emergency room because you have no health insurance or a health insurance policy you can’t use because you can’t afford a 30% co-pay?

    I can’t even start to take that seriously, it’s possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    Again, it’s not what you don’t like about Obamacare. It’s how it was worse than doing nothing, the only other alternative. And it’s clear you are willing to dishonestly describe Obamacare, so you might need to actually back up any claims you make.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  49. mantis says:

    @David M:

    I can’t even start to take that seriously, it’s possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    What, you mean emergency room visits aren’t free, and far more expensive than normal doctor visits? The hell you say!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  50. Tyrell says:

    @anjin-san: That is news. Tried to refinance and was told that our income was not enough, yet it is the same when we were approved for the mortgage. How can that be? Once you are turned down by one bank, the rest won’t touch you. So much for helping people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  51. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    So much for helping people.

    Banks are not in business to help people, in spite of what their marketing tells you. They are in business to make as much money as possible. One of the less pleasant aspects of the capitalist system is that your value to society is largely determined by how much money you have. Don’t have enough? Guess what – you might just end up going hungry on a cold sidewalk. Those people are asking “How can this be?” too.

    How can that be?

    Credit score, household income, and job stability. Instead of blaming banks for being mean, you might want to take the trouble to learn how the system actually works.

    The government did not give banks TARP money to “help people”, they did it to prevent a banking system collapse and the depression that would have followed. (which does help everyone, but in an indirect way) You don’t seem to understand what happend in 2008.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: If you happen to have a large amount of debt and a bad credit record, then yes, it is quite possible that even at the same income you will not be acceptable to a bank. Or: you have the same credit record as before and the same income, but banks have tightened up on their lending requirements and want to make sure you have 20% down in the house so far. Or: they’re a flock of frightened sheep and aren’t lending money, period.

    Take your pick–whatever is most satisfying to your ego. But realize that there may be other reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. Chris says:

    @Caj:

    Caj, you are the idiot. Obama care is wreaking small businesses, and families. My employer has decided to cut everyone’s hours to 25 or less per week as a direct action to Obama care. there are only 20 employees here. I need to pick up a second job to compensate.

    People that work in the seasonal fields are also facing hurdles, their employers have to do similar actions. force their employees to work no more than 25 hours per week and if they do operate year round the employer id forcing them to take six weeks twice a year. Sure everyone wants to have three months off a year however, not many can afford to.

    We have yet to learn what is in this bill, and our government thinks so highly of they want to exclude themselves from it.

    Do we need some form of health care? Yes but not this. the insurance companies are behind it why because they will be laughing all the way to the bank. why not do a little research before you just bash people.

    Or maybe you are so wealthy it does not matter to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0