House Republicans will vote Wednesday to repeal ‘Obamacare’ — again.
“To date, 32 Floor votes have been taken to repeal, defund, or dismantle ObamaCare. Tomorrow’s vote to repeal ObamaCare will be the 33rd,” read an advisory from the office of Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The vote, which follows the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, signals that the conservative base’s visceral opposition to the law remains strong. Republicans are set for another unanimous show of resistance to President Obama’s signature law, despite some hedging from politically vulnerable members, and will probably pick off a handful of vulnerable Democrats.
With less than four months until Election Day, the vote is easy for Republicans and Democrats who are dug in to their positions, but it’s uncomfortable for members in tough races. GOP leaders sought to deflect criticisms for holding a meaningless show vote by portraying repeal as a boost for job creation.
“The House will vote to repeal Obamacare, which is driving up the cost of health care, and making it harder for small businesses to create jobs,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
For Democrats, it was an opportunity to highlight the benefits in the law, such as guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions and the ability to remain on a parent’s insurance policy until 26. Democrats also bragged that the measure was pioneered by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, and echoed his defense of the mandate as an anti-free-rider provision.
“The Republicans are glorifying freeloaders,” said Rep. Jim McDermott (WA), the only physician in the Democratic caucus. “People who say they don’t want to pay if they can.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday he’ll also push for another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act “in the near future.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, the tide appears to be turning in favor of the law. According to a new Washington Post/ABC poll, the public is split 47-47 percent on the law; in April they opposed it by a margin of 53-39 percent.
The law is projected to provide health care to some 30 million Americans by 2019, and reduce the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. CBO did not score the GOP’s latest repeal bill but last year said repeal would add $230 billion to the deficit.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.