Did Republicans Surrender The Fight To Repeal Obamacare?
Repealing Obamacare has been a signature initiative of Republicans since less than a day after it was passed. And while this Congress is infamously the least productive on record, it has found the time to hold dozens of symbolic votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But those efforts have died down recently, and some analysts say that with the law fully going into effect on Jan. 1, the repeal efforts will be done for good.
Since 2010, House Republicans (and some Democrats) have voted a total of 47 times to repeal, defund, or delay Obamacare in one form or another. Six of those votes took place in less than three weeks at the end of September.
But throughout October and November, just one anti-Obamacare vote was held- and it wasn’t even a full repeal bill, just a clumsy attempt to help consumers keep their insurance plans, a move the president had already made after public outcry over canceled plans. With the House going on recess on Dec. 13, and the law going into full effect on Jan. 1, it seems unlikely that this trend would change.
Brain Beutler at Salon predicted in July that the attempts to repeal Obamacare would die out once Healthcare.gov debuted, when cancelling the legislation would actually mean cancelling people’s health insurance. But even Beutler seems surprised that his prediction came true, considering the embarrassment, problems, and low enrollment of the new site.
But the tide seems to be turning in spite of all that. Beutler cites a Georgia Republican congressman running for Senate, who last week endorsed improving the system instead of repealing it- a position that would have been heretical just months ago.
“There’s some criticism, ‘Well, are you helping improve this law when you make that change? And should we be doing that?’” said Rep. Jack Kingston. “A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do. I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there was something in Obamacare [that's good] we need to know about it.”
What do you think- is the repeal movement gone for good?