Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Day, Another Obamacare Repeal Debate In The House

Tue Jul 10, 2012

For the 31st time in 18 months, Republicans in the House of Representatives are spending today debating a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with the final vote tomorrow. This time is extra special, though, since the Supreme Court ruled last month that the ACA is constitutional. It gives a certain oomph to this iteration of the temper tantrum, the utterly futile "Repeal of Obamacare Act." It will never reach the Senate floor, but if by some miracle it did, it would be vetoed. Like wasting time is going to stop this crop of Republicans.

Demonstrating just how absurd all this is, they actually let Rep. Allen West (R-Crazytown) out in public to act as spokesman.

"I don't think it's symbolic," Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., told ABC Monday evening. "Now that we know that the truth is out there that this is a tax, we need to be able to let the American people know where we stand." [...]

"If you've got orders to take a hill, you're going to keep going until you take the hill," West, R-Fla., explained. "The American people don't want this Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. It's heinous, it's onerous. They want it gone so we as their representatives are going to continue to do what they sent us up here to do which is every way that we possibly can make sure that this bad policy, this bad law is irradiated from our rolls."

Not just repealed. Irradiated. Which is complete gibberish, but it's decisive gibberish. But what's not gibberish is what Republicans are intent upon doing, as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) explains: "It's more than just whether or not they will do it and its politics. It is about the philosophy that is behind it and who they are willing to hurt and whose side they're on. That's what this vote is about. [...] It's making health care affordable for those who have it and for those who do not have it. That is what Republicans do not want to have happen."

Of course, it could also be about Republican members of Congress not wanting to lose the very sweet deal that they have for health care. During the negotiations, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) offered what he thought would be a cute poison pill amendment, requiring that all members of Congress give up their federal employees health benefits, and shop for their insurance on the new exchanges. Democrats loved the idea, and it was adopted. And now, Republicans want to get rid of it, and keep their very generous health insurance, which they get to keep for their whole lives, if they want to.

So it's lifetime government health care coverage for them, but not for you. That's the Republican vision of freedom.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter