News Column

House Republicans' 37th Attempt to Repeal Obamacare

May 23, 2013

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who had promised that he would stop these futile, time-wasting votes, had a novel reason for holding yet another doomed vote on "Obamacare."

"We've got 70 new members who have not had an opportunity to vote on the president's health care law," he explained. "Frankly, they've been asking for an opportunity to vote on it." So the House, along party lines, voted yet again Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It was House Republicans' 37th attempt to repeal the law.

But the new members should have gotten themselves elected at least three years ago because the ACA passed in March 2010. And if the opportunity to vote on all legislation is so important, there were thousands of bills introduced in the last Congress that members never got to vote on.

When the new members return to their districts they have a week off at the end of the month we'd like to hear their explanation of why they're wasting their time and taxpayer money on a purely symbolic and meaningless vote.

The Congressional Budget Office, which is supposed to estimate the budgetary impact of each piece of proposed legislation, says it's too busy to continue estimating the cost of a measure with a proven track record of failure. The CBO's last estimate of the budget impact of repeal, in 2012, was that it would increase the deficit by $109 billion. The hard political facts are that the Democratic-controlled Senate wouldn't go along, and if it did, the president wouldn't sign it.

Democrats have had great fun repeating Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.



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