The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has just voted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety:
House votes to repeal #Obamacare, 239 186. There were three GOP nays. All Democrats voted no.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 3, 2015
The comfortable margin comes courtesy of the GOP's expanded majority following the 2014 elections, in which the party won their largest advantage since the 1920's. Democrats and many in the media have ridiculed the GOP for bringing up yet another repeal vote, snarking about Groundhog Day and the forty-something "failed" repeal efforts in recent years. I highlighted several flaws with this narrative over at Hot Air:
This line of thinking ignores three factors: (1) The GOP campaigned hard against Obamacare last fall and won a resounding midterm victory, (2) this latest vote represents the first chance for newly-elected members to weigh in on Obamacare — many are eager to fulfill a campaign promise by backing repeal, and (3) at least eight of those 40-plus, supposedly quixotic repeal votes actually succeeded, dismantling parts of the law and reducing funding for it. Oh, and this time around, Republicans control the Senate, too.
Speaking of the upper chamber, Ted Cruz has amassed 44 co-sponsors for his Senate companion bill, which Democrats are likely to filibuster. Republican leadership will need to decide whether to use a budget tactic known as 'reconciliation' -- which Democrats employed to bypass GOP opposition in passing the law -- to ensure that a repeal measure reaches the president's desk (where it would inevitably be vetoed). Congressional Republicans have yet to coalesce around a single replacement plan to supplant Obamacare if it's ever fully uprooted. Journalist and policy wonk Philip Klein argues that the party ought to offer a unified alternative, and sketches out options, in his new book. Republicans would also be well-served to draw up strategic plans for the contingency in which the Supreme Court guts many of Obamacare's subsidies as a result of a provision Democrats included in the law. The resulting political waters could be tricky to navigate. Obamacare is not working, based on the standards established by its supporters. It is enduringly unpopular. And it is hurting significantly more people than it's helping. The president is making a show of meeting with beneficiaries this week, blithely ignoring people like this -- who shouldn't exist under Democrats' dishonest win/win sales pitch. No "rebranding" project can fix the law's fundamental flaws. Incidentally, the three GOP no's were furnished by freshmen who represent swingy districts. Not sure what advantage they see in assisting Democrats in defending a terribly broken, consistently unpopular law:
House passes Obamacare repeal 239-186. 3 Rs joined united Ds voting no -- Dold Katko Poliquin— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) February 3, 2015