BY JOHN FEEHERY
Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com
So, amid the myriad of scandals that currently occupy DC elite, the House of Representatives worked late into the night to vote once again to repeal Obamacare.
The press played this as another partisan attempt to poke at the President, a waste of time, a waste of effort, a waste of money. The bill wasn’t going to go anywhere in the Senate, so why would House Republicans do this for the 37th time?
I think there are several good reasons.
First, this is a revenue bill, and should the Senate want to go to conference on a revenue bill, this gives them a vehicle to do that.
Second, Obamacare is still not very popular, and for those who currently have health insurance (which is about 80% of the country), Obamacare is going to become even more unpopular. This might seem like a wasted effort now, but next year, vulnerable Democrats are going to wish that they voted a different way.
Third, it is not true that the House voted the same repeal 37 times. This is the third time they have done a complete repeal. The other 34 times they voted to defund parts of that bill.
Seven of those bills have actually been signed into law by the President. For example, the President signed into law a repeal of the small business paperwork mandate, which was HR 4 last year. HR 4348 ended the so-called Louisiana purchase, a payoff to the Senior Senator from Louisiana. One HR repealed the CLASS Act, which saved more than 6 billion. HR 3630 slashed 5 billion from the so-called Obamacare slush fund.
These are not trivial savings. A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you are saving some real money.
According to a Kaiser poll, only 1 in 3 voters believe that House Republican efforts to block implementation of Obamacare is a waste of time. More than half think it is a good idea to continue to block the law so that it has less of an impact on taxpayers.
These are all good reasons to continue down this road to repeal.
The fact that the person at the IRS who was in charge of investigating Tea Party groups is now in charge of implementing Obamacare only makes this an even better political fodder for the Republican Party.
Is this a wasted effort?
Only 2 Democrats voted with all of the Republicans to repeal Obamacare last night. When Republicans choose next year to vote again to repeal Obamacare, we will see how many Democrats decide it is a wasted effort and how many Democrats decide to change their vote to protect their backsides.
Editor’s Note: John Feehery worked for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other Republicans in Congress. Feehery is president of Quinn Gillespie Communications. He is a contributor to The Hill’s Pundits Blog and blogs at thefeeherytheory.com.