A Major Victory for Obama: House Republicans Introduce 3 Bills That Improve Obamacare


In what is a major victory for the president, House Republicans will vote on three bills next week that correct small issues and unintended consequences in the ACA.

Politico (via Slate) has the details:

House Republican leaders are planning to bring up three changes to Obamacare next week — but unlike dozens of prior bills, these are more minor measures that are not expected to be controversial. All three bills essentially fix drafting errors, perceived oversights or unintended consequences in the president’s Affordable Care Act. They have bipartisan support and are scheduled to be considered under a suspension of the rules, which limits debate and requires support from two-thirds of House members — a signal that leaders of both parties do not expect any heated debate.

They hold some political significance, however, because they allow Republicans to push back against the Democrats’ talking point that the GOP is only interested in holding votes to pick at Obamacare’s flaws. They also represent the reality that Obamacare is now fully implemented — and not fixing errors could be more damaging to opponents than being perceived as trying to make Obamacare work better.

What makes this news all the juicier is that Boehner and company introduced these bills last Friday while conservatives were distracted by CPAC. The right wingers were screaming about repeal from across the river the Republican leadership was submitting legislation that improves the law. On at least fifty previous occasions, Republicans tried to pass off attempts to repeal the law as improvements. In this case, Republicans are actually doing their jobs.

The answer to why the House Republicans are trying to improve the ACA can be found the polling. The popularity of repeal has sunk to a record low. The vast majority of Americans say that they want to keep and improve the law.

The biggest problem for Republicans is that their just say no to Obamacare position was destined to erode away. The name Obamacare isn’t popular, but much of what the law contains is. As the ACA is fully implemented, more people are seeing the benefits, the repeal position is becoming unsustainable. House Republicans have finally caught on that should they continue to say no, they will be rejecting some very popular elements of the law.

This move by the House leadership is evidence that repeal movement is all, but, dead. Repeal Obamacare has joined Roe v Wade as nothing more than a conservative campaign slogan that will be used in future elections to encourage the Republican faithful to get out and vote.

Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership have a loyal group of a few dozen Republicans, who combined Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats, make up a big enough coalition to pass these bills. Republicans will hypocritically continue to rant and rave publicly about how Obamacare must die while trying to slip legislation under the radar that fixes some of the unintended consequences caused by the law.

House Republican leaders are quietly surrendering on the ACA. There will be plenty more wasteful show votes to repeal Obamacare, but that’s just a bit of theater for the folks back home. Boehner, Cantor, and the gang are throwing up the white flag.

In order for Republicans to take credit for fixing the law, they are doing something that many thought they would never do. They are acknowledging the legitimacy of the ACA.

It’s all but over. These small pieces of legislation mark a major shift, and a big win for President Obama.

24 Replies to “A Major Victory for Obama: House Republicans Introduce 3 Bills That Improve Obamacare”

  1. Lets just hope that when it passes and goes to the Senate it will pass there also, unlike the Veterans Bill.

  2. Soon the Republicans will claim they were for the ACA all along and Dems did nothing but obstruct. And they will spend millions to sell the lie and attempt to rewrite history.

  3. Maybe the republicans forsee a time when they want to pass a law that the Dems will set on for a lifetime. Maybe the tea bags are coming round.

    Maybe this is the smile before the knife too

  4. The teabagger’s dislike of he bill called obamacare is really very funny to me. It wAs the teabagger’s that gave this name to a bill called the ACA. Thinking they were insulting the bill and the people who in acted it. Suddenly, the teabagger’s no longer want the bills name to be known as ObAMACARE. History WILL CONTINUE to use the name I believe, unless the book is written in say, Texas.
    From now on I wonder if they, will be thinking more clearly when giving a name to something. teabagger’s: themselves, Obamacare: a bill insulting they think.

  5. In addition to the highly unpopular effort to defund Obamacare, it’s worth remembering that this is an election year for senators and representatives. That’s most likely one of the strongest motivators for the apparent change in heart.

  6. Maybe it’s just that Obamacare is the current law of the land and some are trying to do what they can to help the taxpayers……..there’s s foreign concept for Washington. Obamacare is a mess, and something needs to be done now. After investing billions and billions of taxpayer money……… fix what you can. If it can be fixed……great. If not, repeal it. Fact is it’s not working well or this wouldn’t be needed.
    Wish the taxpayers were going to be the winners, but it’s between the politicians……taxpayers be damned.

  7. Who has invested billions and billions? Hopw is it a mess? There are small problems but its hardly a mess. Its working for far too many people to be called a mess. Where ever its not working its beucase of the states or the providers

    You dont seem to be able to do your own research. The tax payers do win. This will lower the deficit.

  8. It’s what they were supposed to do all along but in doing this, aren’t the Congressional Republicans dumping the red state governors who were supposedly stand with their comrades in rejecting Medicaid expansion. After spending so long brainwashing their loyal GOP supporters, how can they explain that this, I wonder?


    Health care price inflation is at its lowest rate in 50 years. Recent years have also seen
    exceptionally slow growth in the growth of prices in the health care sector, in addition
    to total spending. Measured using personal consumption expenditure price indices,
    health care inflation is currently running at just 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, the
    lowest level since January 1962. (Health care inflation measured using the medical CPI
    is at levels not seen since September 1972.)

  10. Makes sense now why the pubs want to get onboard. Latest reports just came out ACA enrollment just passed 4.2 million. Ha!

  11. One of the biggest issues with the ACA is the states who have chosen to not fully implement the bill. I live in Kansas. As a result of having had Encephalitis I now take a bucket load of medications. I am not on disability and have relied on the generosity of my family to keep a roof over my head. I was able to make $3400 working at home last year. But because my daughter turned 19 in Feb, I lost my Medicaid coverage at the end of last month, and Kansas did not expand Medicaid based on income. Therefore I am now in no position to purchase my medications nor see my specialists, so most likely will end up a no-ability to pay ER patient from time to time due to the lack of meds that stabilize me. Kansas is a backwards thinking state. All I wanted was a chance to improve and hopefully one day to go back to work as a Nurse Practitioner which I did for 20 years prior to becoming ill; a little irony after all the years of providing health care, now I won’t be afforded the care I need.

  12. But then again, thats not an issue with the ACA. Thats an issue with a facist state. Just like the one I live in. Tennessee. Total facism

  13. Why would rethugs do anything to improve ACA.? There is a poison pill somewhere in that bill .Probably a ALEC written provision. I don’t trust them one iota

  14. Hey Gary you can come to New Mexico. We are signing up everybody we can. People may not think so but we are a progressive state and there are jobs especially in the medical field.

  15. Sorry for your illness but your more than like qualified for disability and that is not due to to the ACA. That is your state problem, but if you are doing any kind of work at all you are ruining your chances of getting on disability, I know the waiting period is long and it is sad that a person who hae work most of their life time have to wait so long before they are classified as disable before they can get disability. But on your limited income you stated you should have qualified for medicaid but since your daughter is no longer a minor they disquafied you. Been there and done that, except I was lucky enough to get on disability before my daughter finish high school. Maybe you need to check to see who you vote for and see who your friends vote for and if it is an republican, then you are screwed again. The majority of american people are wondering when the rest of people will wake up and realize just how much the republicans and teaparty really care about them.

  16. Hey Gary you should think about relocating. New Mexico is a progressive state. We are signing up everyone and there are jobs galore in ths medical field

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