Following up on an earlier item, the House went ahead and voted once again to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. The vanity exercise, done to make Republicans feel better about themselves, passed 244 to 185.
Five red-state Democrats sided with the right, while a grand total of zero Republicans broke rank. (Update: the five Dems, two of whom are retiring, are Oklahoma’s Dan Boren, North Carolina’s Larry Kissell, Utah’s Jim Matheson, North Carolina’s Mike McIntyre, and Arkansas’ Mike Ross.)
Of course, the House bill is inconsequential – it can’t pass the Senate and wouldn’t get President Obama’s signature – making this a rather pointless waste of time, which could have been devoted to job creation, immigration policy, energy policy, or anything else of any substance at all.
But it’s the sheer repetition that really rankles. While House Republicans haven’t even voted on any major jobs bills this entire Congress, today marked the 33rd time the House GOP felt compelled to try to gut “Obamacare,” apparently because votes 1 through 32 were too subtle. Jamison Foser pointed to this great scene from “A Few Good Men,” which helped summarize the problem.
As for the policy, let’s also not forget that every House Republican today voted to take away health coverage for young adults staying on their family plans, raise prescription drug prices for seniors, end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, reinstate lifetime insurance caps, scrap tax breaks for small businesses, raise the deficit, and take benefits away from 30 million Americans, all as part of a repeal crusade they can’t pass.
There has to be better uses for Congress’ time.