Washington – The latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare) has failed spectacularly, just like every other effort that came before it. For those of you in the cheap seats, this is the 39th time an attempt to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law has failed.
The latest push to end Obamacare comes from Senator Ted Cruz (R – TX). His proposed amendment was intended to “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”
In the Senate on Friday, the amendment failed 45 to 54. But that doesn’t mean the Republicans are done fighting.
Now, this being the 39th failure is a moderate estimate. What we can tell you is that Cruz pushed almost the exact same amendment a week ago. That was repeal attempt #35. After that, there was a House vote on a Republican Study Committee budget plan that would eliminate Obamacare entirely (#36), a House vote on Paul Ryan’s budget plan which does the same thing (#37), and last night’s Senate vote on the same plan (#38).
Before Friday’s vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell trashed Obamacare in a statement, saying that the reform bill is “not working” and is negatively impacting the economy.
“Three years later, the President’s health care law remains a job-killer that grows the government and slows the economy, which is why it’s important to repeal the whole thing and replace it with commonsense reforms that lower costs and that Americans actually want,” McConnell said.
But in true Washington tradition (they do this constantly on both sides), Cruz’s proposal wasn’t limited to Obamacare. It targeted Pell Grants, historically black colleges, and $2 billion for community colleges as well.
“That’s fine if you want to do that,” said Democratic senator Tom Harkin from Iowa. “But I don’t think senators on the other side of the aisle want to vote to decrease Pell Grants.”
Despite the loss, Cruz is seemingly happy with the GOP’s 39th symbolic stand against Obamacare.
“I am proud that Senate Republicans once again stood united and unanimously voted to undo this devastating legislation,” Cruz said after the flop. “Our economy is stagnant right now — last quarter it was 0.1 percent — and sadly, every Democrat who voted, voted to continue implementing Obamacare even as the economy is gasping for breath.”
What do you think of Obamacare? Should Republicans stop trying to get it repealed?