On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill passed 229-195, with two Democrats voting for repeal and no Republicans voting against the bill.
The bill has no expectations of actually moving forward in the Senate, and of course the President would veto any such legislation that came to his desk. Democrats to claim the House is simply wasting time.
However, Tea Party Patriots Legislative Advisor Bill Pascoe has a different view. Speaking to Local Coordinators last week, he pointed out that while the House is voting for the 37th time to repeal the law, the 113th Congress has only done it once – on Thursday. Which means, for the first time, Members of Congress who won in 2012 on the strength of their fiscally conservative, opposing Obamacare credentials can now go back to their constituents and proclaim they held to a critical campaign promise.
And thus does the House’s back door repeal of Obamacare continue. While full repeal is the best way to get the law off the backs of the American people, the House’s strategic chess-match approach has been extremely effective. Consider:
- The House held strong on withholding a few billion dollars in IT infrastructure and other dollars from implementation efforts.
- With $2.6 trillion to use for implementation, I and many others initially thought this was mostly a giant “kick the can down the road” by House leadership.
- Yet in April, we saw Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) hammer HHS Secretary Sebelius, calling Obamacare a “train wreck” because of its lack of implementation success.
- Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) has begun grasping at straws to explain the law’s unpopularity, delays, and other issues with implementation.
- And in the last few days, Sebelius has been going around, hat in hand, asking private companies to help with implementation of Obamacare – again, because of the funding the House has not allowed to go forward.
And now, the House has Democrats on the record opposing repeal. If this can get a vote in the Senate – which is highly unlikely – the still-unpopular Obamacare will continue to be a potent weapon for campaigns against candidates of big government. However, even without a vote, the House’s vote gives Tea Party-minded candidates a tactical boost going into 2014.