New Bite to Repeal Obamacare Taken

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 229 to 195, with 9 not voting, for HR 45, by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) (pictured) and 128 cosponsors, to completely repeal Obamacare.
Michele Bachmann
All of the Republicans who were present voted for HR 45, and all of the Democrats who were present--except for Rep. Jim Matheson (UT) and Mike McIntyre (NC)--voted against HR 45.

The 9 legislators who didn't vote at all were Republicans John Campbell (CA), Sean Duffy (WI), Sam Johnson (TX), Raul Labrador (ID), and Ann Wagner (MO) and Democrats James Clyburn (SC), John Lewis (GA), Edward Markey (MA), and Mike Quigley (IL).

It is disappointing that only two Democrats voted for repeal of Obamacare, since the many severe problems with the so-called Affordable Care Act are already being manifested and even more serious ones are expected soon.

Previous issues of this newsletter HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE documented how Obamacare is causing unemployment, hurting the economy, increasing the cost of health insurance, causing employees to lose their existing health insurance, and destroying small medical practices.

And that doesn't include trampling on the religious rights of those non-profit organizations and privately owned companies which have moral objections to being required to provide health insurance with abortifacients.  Nor does it include the rationing of medical care through the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which hasn't become operational yet in Obamacare.

Another previous issue reported on a new poll showing that grassroots Democrats are beginning to turn against Obamacare.

A near-unanimous vote of House Democrats against repealing Obamacare suggests a death wish for the party in the 2014 elections.

As this is written, HR 45 has not yet been received in the Senate, but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will probably not permit a vote on the bill. If he did permit a vote on it and enough Democrats would be willing to vote with the 45 Republicans in the upper chamber to form a majority, it is highly likely the other Democrats would mount a filibuster against repeal of Obamacare.  And if the bill somehow overcame that difficult obstacle, President Obama would veto it.

But "bite size" repeals of parts of Obamacare are possible.

Speaker John Boehner's office posted a list of the seven bills to modify parts of Obamacare that have passed the House, Senate, and were signed into law by the President during the last session of Congress in 2011-12:

H.R. 4: Repealed the small business paperwork ("1099") mandate, which would have destroyed jobs and hit start-ups hardest, as well as farms, charities, and churches. H.R. 4 also reduced exchange subsidy overpayments by $25 billion.

H.R. 1473: Cut $2.2 billion from a "stealth public plan" and froze the IRS budget to prevent funding for new agents to enforce Obamacare.

H.R. 674: This bill not only repealed a devastating IRS withholding tax, it saved taxpayers $13 billion by changing how the eligibility for certain programs is calculated under Obamacare. Without the change, a couple earning as much as much as $64,000 could still qualify for Medicaid.

H.R. 2055: Made more cuts to CO-OPs, IPAB, IRS: This bill shaved another $400 million off the CO-OPs; cut another $305 million from the IRS to hamper its ability to enforce the law's tax hikes and mandates; and rescinded $10 million from IPAB bureaucrats.

H.R. 3630: Slashed billions from Obamacare slush funds, including $2.5 billion from Obamacare's "Louisiana Purchase."

H.R. 4348: Saved another $670 million from the "Louisiana Purchase."

H.R. 8: Saved $6.5 billion by repealing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, an unsustainable entitlement program whose phony "savings" were used to mask the true cost of Obamacare. The bill also rescinded all unobligated CO-OP funds – another $2.3 billion savings for taxpayers.

A recent issue of this newsletter reported that, during the current session, Congress refused to appropriate $949 million the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requested to administer Obamacare.  And Congress also ratified the sequester, which cut funds for many federal programs across-the-board, including Obamacare, from previous levels.

Other recent issues of this newsletter have reported on two important stand-alone pieces of legislation that would modify Obamacare:

HR 351 by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and 179 cosponsors, to repeal IPAB, the rationing mechanism in Obamacare.  The Senate companion bill is S 351 by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and 33 cosponsors.

HR 523, by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and a whopping 243 cosponsors, to repeal the harmful medical devices tax in Obamacare.  The Senate companion bill is S 232 by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and 34 cosponsors.

Bachmann's HR 45, to completely repeal Obamacare, will almost certainly not be enacted this legislative session. But senators and the president have shown a willingness to take other steps to reform Obamacare.

It would be in the best interest of congressional Democrats to find a way to lessen the painful "train wreck" of Obamacare.

The previous issue of What's Happening with Seniors Benefits: Obamacare is devastating to small businesses

The previous issue What's Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: Rubio's TV Ad for Amnesty Bill is Deceptive
 
Previous issues of both newsletters.

Follow Art Kelly on Twitter @ArthurKellyJr

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