House Republicans have voted to repeal ObamaCare before, but since Democrats have the majority in the Senate, Republicans are going nowhere again on this, their 37th effort.
In order to defend the indefensible, a very defensive Speaker Boehner’s office tried to poison reality by sending out a preemptive missive declaring that Republicans have only actually tried twice before via a stand-alone bill to rescind the health care law. The rest, you see, were efforts to defund it and destroy it, but technically, technically, they are not the same!
The New York Times reported:
Indeed, the Republican House leadership is sensitive to the perception that they are squandering even more time on a repeal vote that is going nowhere.
Predicting the cynical news media coverage that awaits them, Speaker John A. Boehner’s office sent out a memorandum to reporters on Tuesday pointing out that the House had only voted twice before on a stand-alone bill to rescind the health care law. Many of the other votes, a spokesman for the speaker explained, were to defund or repeal smaller parts of the law, including seven signed into law by the president.
Republicans might not be able to do much in the House of Representatives due to their inner party chaos and tea party Poujadists, but one thing they can do reliably is waste your money on yet another ObamaCare vote. Thursday they will be taking their 37th vote to repeal all or part of the President’s healthcare plan.
This is actually their 43rd effort to dismantle ObamaCare, according to the New York Times, but whatev. We’ll give them 37 since they can hardly stand more scrutiny. The Times determined that Republicans spend 15% of their time at “work” devoted to show votes that are going nowhere.
Indeed, the Times concluded that this House is the least productive one in a decade, with just 146 roll-call votes since Jan. 3. Republicans claimed they wanted to “repeal and replace” during the 2012 elections, but it came out later that they had no replacement. So, that would be repeal and let ’em die, I guess, only that doesn’t sell so well.
The non-partisan CBO was so unimpressed with Republicans that they wrote the the House Republican “budget hawk” Paul Ryan a letter denying his request to score ObamaCare yet again, noting that actually Republicans were WRONG. Repeal won’t save money, and it would add to the deficit. To wit (my bold), “CBO and JCT most recently estimated the budgetary impact of repealing the ACA in July 2012. In a letter to Speaker Boehner (sent on July 24, 2012),CBO described the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act, as passed by the House o Representatives earlier in July. In that letter, CBO indicated that the net savings from eliminating the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA would be more than offset by the combination of other spending increases and revenue reductions that repeal of the ACA would entail. On balance, CBO and JCT estimated, repealing the ACA would affect direct spending and revenues in ways resulting in a net increase in budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013-2022 period.”
So that’s a fail. The truth is that this healthcare repeal vote is about the only thing House Republicans can agree upon, and it makes their base happy to see them “taking a stand” (for show) against the President.
Other Republicans are trying to justify this circus by suggesting that since the IRS is just like Nixon only without the enemies list, the smoking gun tape, or the targeting of political enemies (so, not like Nixon at all), therefore ObamaCare should die. Republican Rep Diane Black of Tennessee tweeted: “IRS scandal begs the question: how can POTUS continue 2 support expansion of IRS power thru enforcement of Obamacare?”
Half of the billion dollars allocated to cover implementation of the Affordable Care Act went to the IRS. Starting in 2014, the agency will distribute subsidies for health-care coverage through state exchanges and issue penalties against individuals who do not get or businesses that do nor provide insurance.
Republicans have claimed that the IRS will hire 16,000 new agents to deal with health-care reform; factcheckers have deemed that number “a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions.” But the Obama administration has asked for more money for the IRS to enforce the new law. The president’s 2014 budget calls for $1 billion more for the IRS, $440 million of which is intended to help with ACA implementation. A big chunk of that would go to updating and creating new information technology.
See? They can tie their ObamaCare Scandal (“Hitler!”) to the IRS Scandal, which is exactly what Speaker Boehner has been trying to do by constantly claiming the IRS has admitted targeting conservatives. Actually, Republican aides told the press that the IRS told them that, and yes, the IRS did target all groups claiming to be social welfare groups, including conservatives. Of those groups, liberal groups were denied non-profit status. So technically they can run around and say conservatives were targeted, but so were liberals.
But the press has never cared when liberals were targeted. Liberals are boring because they don’t matter (they aren’t corporate tools?). The press is very, very concerned with the HITLER/NIXON themes being feverishly sold by the almost-never-right Right. Calling Obama Hilter over ObamaCare should have been a clue, but the press would rather play stupid for the drama and the coolness of it all. Meanwhile, Boehner is selling this, their 37th or 43rd effort to defund ObamaCare, as somehow excusable.
Where are the jobs?
Update 1:13 PM EST: Boehner tried to claim that the show votes to repeal ObamaCare are creating jobs in his presser Thursday.