To be considered during the week of January 10, 2011
- H.Res. ___, Instructing certain committees to report legislation replacing the job-killing health care law.
News reports show Republicans in the House of Representatives are expected to hold a vote to repeal Obamacare on January 12, 2011 and the expected warning from Senate Democrats, who still control the Senate, is "don't bother", and "we will block it".
First- Republicans campaigned heavily on repealing Obamacare and/or defunding it at every opportunity if the Senate doesn't pass the House's repeal or if Obama uses his veto power should the Senate actually pass a repeal bill (highly doubtful).
Second- Obamacare aka Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was opposed at the time of passage by a plurality or majority of Americans, whether pollsters used likely voters or simply adults. (Scroll RCP link to see earlier polling from a variety of organizations)
Third- A majority of Americans continue to oppose the Obamacare law, as a whole. On average, 52.8 percent oppose Obama and Democrats' health care law with 40.5 percent favoring it, leaving a spread of 12.3 percent against.
Fourth- Recent polling shows the majority (60 percent)of likely voters want the Obamacare law repealed.
Fifth- Other polling shows that between those that prefer a full repeal and those that want portions repealed, still fall into the majority when added together.
During the debate before Obamacare was signed into law, the liberal left and Democratic politicians continued to cherry pick items from the bill to try to convince the public that polling showed those individual issues were popular.
The problem was and still is, the bill was not passed in pieces and popular smaller fixes to our health care system. It was turned into a monstrosity of almost 2,000 pages long chalk full of unpopular mandates and regulations.
In there lies the problem for Republicans who favor repeal but an even larger problem for Democrats who will fight against any repeal.
Republicans promised to try for a full repeal. Democrats controlling the Senate, or Obama with his veto pen, will not allow that, but this original vote on full repeal will put everybody on record for the voters, in the public eye and transparent on who is fighting for what the majority of Americans want and who is fighting against what Americans want.
After this initial vote, Republicans can, should and probably will start attacking individual parts of the law and target them for repeal votes as well, again, forcing Democrats in the Senate where 23 of them will be up for reelection in 2012 to take a public stand for or against the majority of American voters.
Barack Obama also is up for reelection in 2012 and Republicans need to force him to take a public stand on those same unpopular issues.
To that end, Representative Steve King (R.-Iowa) believes Republicans should include language that prohibits any funding for implementation of Obamacare in literally every appropriations bill that passes the House of Representatives this year.
This would force Barack Obama and Senate Democrats to continuously go on record in favor of something the American people oppose.
Under King’s plan, congressional Republicans would first force a straight up-or-down vote on repealing Obamacare in the House and Senate, but then follow that up by inserting language into all appropriations bills saying that no money from the bill can be used to implement the federal health-care program President Obama signed last year.
“So, my proposal is this then: Each appropriations bill that comes through, we need to put language in it that prohibits any of the dollars that are appropriated in those funds--and I would add to that any funds heretofore appropriated--from being used to implement or enforce Obamacare,” said King.
King acknowledged that his approach would first lead to a showdown with a Senate that has a Democratic majority and is still led by Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), who helped enact the Obamacare health-care legislation last year.
“I think that would be a wonderful thing to watch,” said King. “With all of the Senate Democrats that are up for election in 2012, they will have some difficult decisions to make and I think a lot of them already know how they will be if confronted with that eventuality.”
If the Republican-majority House held the line against the Democrat-majority Senate and did not allow any funding for Obamacare in the appropriations bill passed in the coming year, the issue would land on Obama’s desk. As president, he would be faced with a choice of either signing bills that defund Obamacare but fund other government functions, or vetoing bills that fund other government functions because they cut-off Obamacare.
“At some point those bills start to reach President Obama’s desk and then he has to decide whether he’s going to accept the language that prohibits the implementation of Obamacare,” said King. “That’s where the crunch comes.”
Democrats across the board saw in the November midterms, from losing the largest number of seats for a party in the House of Representatives in over 70 years, to watching their majority in the Senate shrink to seeing massive turnovers in state legislative chambers in favor of the GOP, what happens when they ignore the will of their constituents and pass laws opposed by the majority of those constituents.
One has to wonder if they heard the message voters overwhelmingly told them or if over the next two years they are willing to offer Republicans a replay of those results.
Putting Democrats on record consistently throughout the next two years and refusing to allow any appropriation funds to go toward Obamacare until the unpopular aspects of that law can be repealed and/or changed, will fulfill one of the major promises Republicans campaigned on and is smart politically looking forward to 2012.
Voters have shown they remember and they do not appreciate being ignored and in November 2012, Obamacare may very well be the final nail in their coffins and the end to many Senate Democrats' political careers.