GOP Introduces Symbolic Health Care Repeal Act

Last year, House Republicans promised that one of their first acts would be to vote on a repeal of the new health care law. Yesterday they introduced a bill that would do just that. You can read the text of the two-page proposal here, but you hardly need to. It isn’t very subtle, and the title does most of the work: House Republicans have dubbed it the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” which tells you just about everything you need to know about its function and how Republicans want voters to understand it.

The proposal and the vote are, of course, almost entirely symbolic. Regardless of what happens in the House, it’s highly implausible that the Senate would vote to repeal the law. And even in the unlikely circumstance that the Senate did vote for repeal, any such measure would still face a presidential veto. As with the GOP’s planned reading of the Constitution, it’s a form of political fan service, with the GOP starting its comeback set by happily playing crowd-favorites in order to signal that it knows what its supporters care about, and to energize them for the health care battle ahead.

Those supporters will likely need all the energy they can get. If Republicans are actually interested in altering the law, they will have to find narrow ways to hack it apart bit by painstaking bit. And that process won’t be easy. The House GOP has introduced a separate resolution calling for reform ideas to change or replace parts of the PPACA. To some extent, the resolution is yet another way to delay talking about reform specifics, which many GOP legislators have been loath to delve into. But it also serves as a tacit recognition that small tweaks are the most likely path to any sort of substantive reform in the near term.  

Smaller reforms will still face Democratic opposition; indeed, Democrats have already packed their picnic basket full of predictable talking points responding to the GOP’s repeal efforts. But as the push to kill the 1099-reporting provision shows, it is possible to build bipartisan support for trimming certain parts of the bill. Of course, that push also shows how difficult it will be to make those changes even with broad support. Even though the White House and members of Democratic leadership agree with Republicans that the provision should go, Congress has yet to come to an agreement about whether or how to replace the revenue raised by the provision—and, as a result, has yet to repeal it.

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  • ||

    They have to pass a repeal out of the House. It makes every Democrat in the House vote on the piece of crap again. Now the Senate can ignore them and not schudule a vote. But even that will force slugs like Ben Nelson to have to state a position on Obamacare. I forget, but I think you can force a vote in the Senate with so many votes. Yeah, the Republicans don't have that many votes. But who cares. Make every Democrat up for re-election in 2012 vote for Obamacare again.

    In Obamacare, the Democrats handed the Republicans a big club. The Republicans need to keep beating the Democrats with it.

  • ||

    Let me ask you this Suderman. If the Democrats in 2007 after they took the House had voted on a law to remove all troops from Iraq knowing it would die in the Senate, would you have been so down on them and called it a meaningless vote? If not, why not? How is this any different?

  • Mo||

    They did have a symbolic vote against the surge in 2007 and it was a joke. As you can see by the current troop levels, it hasn't done jack shit.

  • Ray||

    Those bad Republicans, being much too symbolic and extreme! They should be more sensible on healthcare, and work with the Democrats, like Mitt Romney. [/shorter Suderman]

  • X||

    This is the best bill I have ever seen.

  • Old Mexican||

    The proposal and the vote are, of course, almost entirely symbolic. Regardless of what happens in the House, it's highly implausible that the Senate would vote to repeal the law.

    The threat of an invasion of Calais in 1944 was also purely symbolic...

  • ||

    A big F.U. to all these trying to repeal ObamaCare. These GOP turds are obviously fans of corporate welfare and no kind of conservatives. I happen to have a pre-existing condition.

  • ||

    Would that pre-existing condition be parasitism?

  • Hugh Akston||

    They were originally thought to be an example of mutualism, but recent evidence suggests that oxpeckers may be parasites instead, eating ticks only after they have fed on mammalian hosts. They have also been observed eating earwax and dandruff, though any benefit from this to the host is unclear.
  • Ska||

    The host no longer has to buy Q-tips or Head & Shoulders, so that's something.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It seems to be one of them, at minimum.

  • ||

    Why is your failure to by health insurance our problem? And please keep shilling for Obamacare, it will end the Democratic Party as we know it.

  • ||

    It is your problem (not that anyone as selfish and stupid as you has a job) because of the Hippocratic oath and general decency in our society. For when my pre-existing condition goes untreated and turns into cancer, it will cost your local hospital dearly, and deprive you of a taxpayer (me).

  • ||

    We can only hope, parasite.

  • ||

    Basically the entire platform under our Left-Right consensus is facile "hope." The only conservative, fiscally intelligent solution is the public option with an admission that we pay for everyone's bad health anyway.

  • ||

    Parasite troll is parasitic.

  • ||

    LOL, who's a troll here?

  • West Texas||

    That would be you, my deep blue tapeworm friend.

  • East Texas||

    Episiarch is a house troll. Slight difference.

  • ||

    The irony...it burns.

  • ||

    There's a cream for that...I've heard.

  • Mike in PA||

    Ok, if it's going to cost me one way or the other, why don't we just do it the other way? I'd rather have your refusal to cover your own expenses drive up the price of my medical care than have your parasitism drive up my taxes, create a few hundred more stupid bureaucracies, AND ruin the quality of the care that I need. You see, even your utilitarian argument doesn't hold any water. Now, shall we talk about the moral implications of having you force someone to support you against their will... Ah, nevermind.

  • ||

    Except my argument does hold water, and according to the CBO, you lost that argument. So now it's a matter of morals. You see a moral hazard by letting the government augment insurance packages by laws. I see the US paying $30,000 per capita and getting 3rd World results. I'm a libertarian who believes we are responsible for providing health care in a FISCALLY SOUND MANNER. You are a Randroid and a disgrace who is pimped out by Big Business and couldn't make it through Econ 101 with a C.

  • kinnath||

    Your health and well being are not my responsibility.

  • robc||

    While I will voluntarily help someone in need, I damn sure aint giving a dollar who anyone who demands I help them.

  • Ska||

    How about someone who demands you pay for their bills while claiming moral superiority?

  • robc||

    How about someone who demands you pay for their bills while claiming moral superiority?

    Yeah, that too. Was going to mention it but really dont care why they demand it. But then adding on moral superiority only makes it worse.

  • Mike in PA||

    Yeah, wrong again. The CBO was using figures given to them by politicans, and have since amended them. They will continue to amend them as long as this program exists. Just like they do with every other program. Talk about misunderestimating!

    It will raise medical costs, raise government spending, add to the debt, give the consumer fewer choices, and ultimately result in poorer care.

    On the moral front, I see it more as a limitation of government thing. Bastiat clearly explained how the plunderers justify their plundering, and how it always makes things worse. Oh, by the way, I aced economics.

    (and how does a libertarian justify allowing the government to force one person to work for the behest of another?)

  • .||

    You are not a libertarian, Dorkman - you're a fucking slaver. Fuck off.

  • ||

    The moral vacuum you live in is embarrassing:

    "Your health and well being are not my responsibility."
    "We can only hope [you die], parasite."

    But you don't speak for libertarians, nor do you understand the definition.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure libertarians understand personal responsiblity and how that relates to I'll buy mine and you are on your own to do the same.

  • .||

    The moral vacuum you live in is embarrassing:

    "Your health and well being are not my responsibility."
    "We can only hope [you die], parasite."

    But you don't speak for libertarians, nor do you understand the definition.

    The moral vacuum is the one between your ears, Dorkman. Your "needs" are not a moral claim on others' lives or the fruits of their labors. I don't claim to speak for any libertarians except myself, but I can assure you I know the meaning of the concept:

    No initiation of the use of physical force or fraud to obtain values from others. Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, don't murder. Government is an agent of force, therefore the only moral government is one which uses it only in defense, retaliation, or retribution - uses it in response to the initiation of force by others.

    My life and my labors are mine. Neither you nor anyone else has any right to so much as one split second of them. Anyone who deprives me of them against my will is but a thief and a slaver.

  • cynical||

    Being protected from violence is a great thing. So is having enough to eat. Why is plundering the taxpayers to feed the people any more or less justifiable than plundering the taxpayers to purchase police/military labor?

    Government protection of your negative rights is a positive right.

  • smartass sob||

    Why is plundering the taxpayers to feed the people any more or less justifiable than plundering the taxpayers to purchase police/military labor?

    Who says either is justifiable? Morally speaking taxation is theft, but there are conceivably other, voluntary ways to finance government - if that government is restricted to only its proper function of protection from the initiation of force.

    Government protection of your negative rights is a positive right.

    No it isn't. Firstly there are no so-called "positive rights" - that's just a dishonest euphemism for misappropriations of power to violate the rights of others. There can be no right to violate rights. Secondly I experience no net gain by the government protecting me from the initiation of force or fraud. I do not gain if the thief is stopped from stealing from me or the murderer from killing me - I merely get to keep what is rightfully mine, minus what I have to pay for the protection. The same cannot be said of someone whose "positive" right to medical care or enough to eat is enforced by government - that person actually does gain, and does so at the expense of others.

  • CJ||

    I'm a libertarian who believes we are responsible for providing

    In this one short phrase, you give away two reasons to think you're not a libertarian.

  • johnl||

    It's retarded to say we have 3rd world outcomes. Amputee kids never wear crutches to school in the USA. Check out incidence rates for the most dangerous communicable diseases. The poor in the US get great healthcare.

  • ||

    For when my pre-existing condition goes untreated and turns into cancer, it will cost your local hospital dearly, and deprive you of a taxpayer (me).

    So you're saying that you'd choose to get cancer and/or put off needed medical care so that your expenses are worse later just to spite us? Hardcore, man. You're apparently not poor, because you're bragging about that job that you have and otherwise you'd have Medicare anyway.

    In any case, nice to see you admit that even if you do get something really bad, that you'll still get taken care of by the rest of us. Many other people supporting this like to pretend otherwise, that we'd just let you die.

    Your premiums are higher because of the pre-existing condition; they reflect the additional expected cost of care. Therefore, it shouldn't actually save us any money to buy your insurance instead of paying for your care, again unless you decide to get cancer and/or not take care of yourself just to spite us.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Since when does "general decency" include forcing people to pay for your shit, Al?

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    SOCIAL CONTRACT!!1!1

  • cynical||

    "It is your problem (not that anyone as selfish and stupid as you has a job) because of the Hippocratic oath and general decency in our society."

    All that the law and general decency say about healthcare is that you ought to still get it even if you can't afford it right now, if what you require is reasonable (if it's a billion dollar treatment, anyone who isn't a billionaire is fucked regardless of who is paying for medical care. And even the billionaire is fucked financially.).

    It says nothing about whether you ought to be paying that doctor back until your debt to him (or whomever paid your medical bills) is discharged -- of course, general decency does say that when someone saves your life, you really ought to go above and beyond to see that they are treated fairly for their trouble.

    But then, socialists usually have the same relation to general decency as Satan has to scripture.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I like that Satan analogy. I may use that someday.

  • Ice Nine||

    >>For when my pre-existing condition goes untreated and turns into cancer, it will cost your local hospital dearly,

    You have forgotten about the death panels that your Obamanoids have now tacitly admitted they've created, Shee, man, your cancer-riddled ass won't even get near that hospital.

    >>and deprive you of a taxpayer (me).

    Ah, but it will also deprive the Democrats of a fuzzy-thinking leftist voter so your demise will be a quite tax neutral event.

  • ||

    Hey, Al:

    Whaddya say I give you five bucks towards your "pre-existing condition" and, in turn, you shovel the snow off my driveway?

    I've met bums I respect more than you, you leftist loser.

  • J||

    "And please keep shilling for Obamacare, it will end the Democratic Party as we know it."

    I salute your optimism.

  • jc||

    Surely you're not saying we have the resources to save the poor from their lot?

    There will be poor always, pathetically struggling. Look at the good things you've got.

  • ||

    Every time I look at you I don't understand why you let the things you did get so out of hand?

  • Cunctator||

    Could we start again, please?

  • ||

    It sounds like you have a problem that you don't want to fix. Did you know there are a shit ton of jobs in this country where you can have a pre-existing condition and get coverage immediately upon starting with a new company. It all depends on the coverage these usually large companies offer. You may not want to work at one of these jobs, but guess what? No one wants to work at these jobs. But some people recognize what they NEED and get a job that provides them what they NEED. If you choose not to suck it up and do what is necessary for yourself to live, then why should I have money taken from me (that is necessary for ME to live) and given to you in the form of this bastard health care coverage so you can keep doing whatever the hell it is you want to do all because you can't be inconvenienced to change careers. I feel no pity for you because you aren't trying. You're stealing. Asshole.

  • Robert||

    I'm angling for one of those jobs: court assistant. I took the exam last summer, and they're expected to hire a bunch soon to replace those who took a buy-out.

    If I do get such a job, however, I may not have enough time on the side to direct clinical trials in a start-up venture just getting off the ground that's in line with my scientific and medical training.

  • ||

    I happen to have a pre-existing condition.

    How can you write this sentence and expect to be taken seriously? Pre-existing what? The day that Obama promised to steal for it? Pre-existing the day you could have purchased your own health insurance like you were all grown up? Pre-existing your birth?

    "Pre-existing" is a term of the modern imbecile. Should I be able to get fire insurance once I have a "pre-existing" fire? Collision insurance after a "pre-existing" collision?

    Be a man and either beg for it, or off yourself. Or, at least be honest about it and simply put a gun to your neighbors head for the money, instead of having a government bureaucrat do it for you.

  • J||

    Some people with serious conditions lose their jobs and with it their health insurance. Then, they have to try to buy insurance on their own, and are precluded from doing so because of their previously covered conditions.

    I detest ObamaCare, and have (rapidly diminishing) hope it will be replaced with something better, but our current system is indefensible. Due to various government tinkering, one's health insurance is inextricably tied to one's employer, and as a result people get lost in the shuffle. Not everyone trying to buy health insurance with serious conditions is a free-loader. Many are victims of a stupid system.

  • ||

    Dear Mr. Dorman, judging from the language and lack of any reasoned discussion and name-calling in this and other posts, I assume the prexisting condition is a mental condition.

  • X||

    I happen to have a pre-existing condition

    And your proposed solution is to mandate everyone buy insurance, unlike you did.

  • ||

    If the gutless GOP actually does anything of worth, I will be amazed. It will, of course, be solely in opposition to TEAM BLUE, but I have to take what I can get.

  • ||

    So, the Republicans are actually doing something they said they'd do if they got elected? I thought that was something we wanted in politicians.

    Oh, sure, it's 'symbolic' and it might even be a 'stall', but does anyone doubt that, if they hadn't done this, the same folks deriding it would have been first in line to scream about how they were ignoring the voters who'd elected them?

  • ||

    Taking every opportunity, and using every tool, to beat the ever-loving shit out of the supporters of ObamaCare is a good thing, full stop.

    I hope they send this bill to the Senate again and again, and I hope to be very pleasantly surprised by the Senate Republicans pulling every parliamentary trick they can to force votes on it.

    The more pain there is for supporters of ObamaCare, the less likely they are to oppose defunding it, and the more likely they are to support piecemeal dismantling of it.

  • robc||

    Yep. They need to attach this as an amendment to every bill they pass. That wouldnt be symbolic.

  • ||

    I agree completely.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Just to spite the Dems, the GOP should craft a bill that has something the Democrats really, really want, but attach to it the condition that Obamacare has to be repealed. Make 'em choose and piss off their supporters either way!

  • Hugh Akston||

    John H. Galt, can't you people ever admit that Republicans sometimes make bad decisions? The only thing this puerile piece of political theater will accomplish is to motivate on-the-fence Democrats that might otherwise be amenable to a piecemeal dismantling to dig in their heels so they aren't associated with these base-flogging butthats.

    Also, Suderman, I will never forgive you for the alt-text opportunity you blew with that picture. Damn you sir.

  • ||

    No. What this will do is show the millions of people who hate Obamacare and voted for Republicans that maybe just once the Republicans didn't lie about something. And as for the "on the fence Democrats" the ones who supported this piece of shit are in the minority and are fanatics anyway. do anything and everything to kill this thing and make every Democrat vote to keep it over and over again.

  • cynical||

    While a lot of people hate Obamacare, that doesn't mean they don't buy into the notion that we have a problem in our healthcare and healthcare finance sector (although I think ignorance and misperceptions are widespread in this regard).

    Democrats are going to try to portray Republicans as putting us back to square one and sticking their heads in the sand and hoping our problems go away, so Republicans need to be prepared to frame their assault on Obamacare as an assault on "do-somethingism", not a denial of the fact that our healthcare system is pretty well dicked up. That is, they need to promise that they still plan to implement reform, but they plan to do in a way that isn't rushed, unread, unconstitutional, corrupt, written in smoke filled rooms in consultation with industries but without patients, etc. Granted, if they do say those things, they'll likely be lying, but it would be nice if they actually tried to disentangle health insurance from health care and from employment.

    The key issues (to placate the masses) are dealing with the poor (also referred to as the uninsured, but the GOP should work hard to separate the concepts), the question of pre-existing conditions, and abuses by the insurance industry. Pre-existing conditions has the largest potential for screwing things up -- in the long run, the insurance industry needs to work like any other industry in this regard, but right now there are a lot of people who coverage got canceled after their house was already burning due to the close ties between employment and insurance. The GOP should assault employer-provided insurance and appease the masses with an amnesty on pre-existing conditions (that is, for a short window of time, prevent insurers from considering them).

  • dave c||

    What "on-the-fence Democrats"?

  • prolefeed||

    What "on-the-fence Democrats"?

    Every Democrat in Congress from a Red or Purple state.

  • Ice Nine||

    >>What "on-the-fence Democrats"?

    Those would be the ones who haven't visited Castro yet.

  • ||

    The only thing this puerile piece of political theater will accomplish is to motivate on-the-fence Democrats that might otherwise be amenable to a piecemeal dismantling to dig in their heels so they aren't associated with these base-flogging butthats.

    Actually, repealing Obamacare is considerably more popular than the GOP in general, so this is not particularly "base-flogging."

    It's symbolism, sure, but it's relatively productive symbolism that appeals to a majority, not the base.

    If repeal remains as popular, then the Democrats face losing the Senate as well in 2012. The contrary theory, then, is that the GOP threatening to be serious may actually encourage compromise in an attempt to get the GOP squishes to consider the law sufficiently altered that they can declare victory.

  • Mike in PA||

    The best thing about this is that it will have democrats continuing to support Obamacare. This will further add to the feeling the majority has that the democrats are saying, "trust us, we know what's best for you even if you're too stupid to get it."

    The worst thing about this is that republicans will confuse many Americans into believing that republicans give a shit about what Americans think.

  • ||

    The only thing this puerile piece of political theater will accomplish is to motivate on-the-fence Democrats that might otherwise be amenable to a piecemeal dismantling to dig in their heels so they aren't associated with these base-flogging butthats.

    Not at all. This actually gives them cover: By voting against repeal, they get political space to vote for piecemeal changes. In fact, unless they are from a totally safe district, they are incentivized to vote for piecemeal changes, to offset their vote against repeal.

  • prolefeed||

    Also, Suderman, I will never forgive you for the alt-text opportunity you blew with that picture. Damn you sir.

    The pumpkin orange tie with the orange skin is, like, META alt-text.

  • Brett L||

    "There is NO crying in Congress."

  • BakedPenguin||

    Suderman, I will never forgive you for the alt-text opportunity you blew with that picture. Damn you sir.

    "Pull my finger to repeal Obamacare. No, really!"

  • ||

    I don't agree. Leaving this thing intact would have cataclysmic results. Nationalized healthcare needs to die, period.

    If they want to do some reform--of the deregulatory variety--they can do it in a new law. One, you know, thought out and read and stuff.

  • smartass sob||

    "John H. Galt"

    New swear word? I like it!

  • ||

    Boehner's tie matches his face.

  • Ska||

    I never wanted to punch someone in the tie.

  • Rock Action ||

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Is it weeping?

  • Rock Action ||

    There is nothing like a man wearing peach-colored clothing to prove his seriousness.

  • prolefeed||

    If Republicans are actually interested in altering the law, they will have to find narrow ways to hack it apart bit by painstaking bit.

    Not really. Since ALL funding of the federal government must originate with bills introduced in the House, attaching this repeal language to all such funding would force the Democrats to choose between shutting down the federal government, and thus unemploying all those highly Democratic public worker union members, or repealing the legislation they've lusted after since the days of Woodrow Wilson.

    Course, playing chicken like that would require the Rs to grow a pair.

  • ||

    Since ALL funding of the federal government must originate with bills introduced in the House

    And split control of the House and Senate makes it a lot less likely that shell bills get used, too.

    Course, playing chicken like that would require the Rs to grow a pair.

    GOP has bad memories of how the politics of the government shutdown went in 1995.

  • ||

    The economy was good back then. The deficit was much lower. And people were not nearly as angry then as now. The politics now are completely different. Yes, the Democrats and their media shills will do everything they can to blame the shutdown on the Republicans. But I don't think it will work this time.

  • ||

    The problem, I think, is that the establishment Repubs are behind the curve, and don't realize the politics around a shutdown have changed. They will cave, due to their fear that the politics haven't changed.

  • ||

    That may be true. But the heads of Bob Bennett, Charlie Crist and Mike Castle stand as a stark warning for what can happen to them if they do cave. They will do whatever they do out of survival instinct. It it may be that the primary results this year will put some fear into them. That is why Kristine O'Donnell winning was so important. Who cares if she is a Senator or not. The important thing is that Mike Castle is not a Senator and that every other establishment turd see that fact.

  • ||

    You're probably right. But they do a lot of polling and sticking their finger into the wind.

    They wouldn't be doing this symbolic repeal unless it polled well. I said months ago that Republican behavior would depend almost entirely on the polls. (Though as John notes, fear of primary losses affects things too.)

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I think a shutdown wouldn't be seen as such a bad thing. Of course MSNBC and CNN will try their best to make it seem bad. But I don't think it'll be perceived as such a bad thing, as long as it doesn't affect the millitary. But they can easily pass a millitary-only spending bill and demogogue the crap out of that.

  • BakedPenguin||

    GOP has bad memories of how the politics of the government shutdown went in 1995.

    Jeebus, I remember how the press played that. "Train wreck! Train wreck!" The R's would need to plan for that contingency, and show how most people wouldn't be affected.

  • ||

    What was the deficit in 1995? The GOP shut the government down for medicare cuts. Now, the deficit is much larger and people are much more concerned. I think the politics are different. If Obama wants to shut the government down to keep spending and the deficit high, let him explain that.

  • robc||

    The Rs caving on the government shutdown caused me to join the LP (I was still a registered Dem on KY voting records until 2007).

  • ||

    Unfortunately, I believe you were outnumbered by people that just plain switched to the Dems because of those evil Republicans shutting down the government.

    The Republicans blinked because the polls looked terrible for them on the issue. Profiles in courage, no. But what do you expect in a democracy? Voters get want they want, good and hard.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Their wussiness on that convinced me they were pretty much worthless.

  • Robert||

    GOP has bad memories of how the politics of the government shutdown went in 1995.


    And the preceding shutdown late in Reagan's 2nd term, when it was a Republican president and a Democratic Congress. In each case, the media blamed the Republican(s), and in each case succeeded in convincing the public.

  • cynical||

    It might be easier if they are successful in breaking up consideration of spending into separate bills, since they can fasttrack spending supported by R's and I's, and stick the repeal onto the spending bills for programs that D's like. Every D will have to look at that bill and know that their primary opponent can beat the hell out of them however they vote. There's no clear good option, and it jeopardizes the incumbents even in safe blue districts. What's not to like?

  • Barack Obama||

    any such measure would still face a presidential veto.

    Let me be clear.

    Any bill faces a presidential veto. However, I can state without reservation that I continue to listen to the American people, and if they ever offer up a valid alternative to the PPACA then I am able to consider it. Happy New Year, and God bless America!

  • Tony||

    I am ashamed by how retarded these people are... or how retarded they take the American people to be.

    Looks like the GOP has outsourced its legislation naming to Frank Luntz.

  • prolefeed||

    You need to be a bit more specific about who "these people" are, since the consensus here is that that should refer to the Team Blue pols who passed Obamacare.

  • ||

    As opposed to the people who pass a law that has already resulted in the prevention of the construction of 45 new hospitals in the name of "bending the cost curve". Yeah, reducing supply is a sure fire way to cut the cost of something.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....25950.html

    Tony anyone with an IQ above 100 is ashamed of yours and people like you's very existence.

  • Russ 2000||

    The state of Illinois has been preventing the construction of hospitals for decades. The idea being that the weaker hospitals are in the poorer neighborhoods and will close because of the competition.

    I have relatives that work for a hospital in one of the poorest communities in the state. The poor would PREFER to DRIVE 20 miles out of their way FOR GUNSHOT WOUNDS because the shitty hospital in the shitty neighborhood is so fucked up their reputation is THAT bad. No, the hospital wouldn't make a gunshot victim wait 3 hours in the emergency room, but the wait in the emergency room for non-life threatening emergencies is usually over 4 hours because the hospital can't afford enough emergency room staff. It's basically MASH triage in there and they can't attract staff that has any desire to stay there; it's an oasis an nothing more.

    The community is essentially telling the state that it would be worth it for them to DRIVE 45 minutes to an emergency room with a 2 hour wait than drive 10 minutes to an emergency room with a 5-hour wait, but the politicians think it's good PR to have a hospital in a bad neighborhood even if the hospital can't actually provide health care.

  • ||

    Same thing was happening in Atlanta when I was there. The downtown hospital there (Brackenridge I think?) was terrible and always going broke. But they kept propping it up.

  • smartass sob||

    You mean Breckinridge? I think that's in Austin, Texas.

  • smartass sob||

    My mistake, it is Brackenridge Hospital - but it's in Austin.

  • ||

    I have lived in too many places. I get them confused after a while. It is Grady.

  • BakedPenguin||

    LA residents all know about Drew-King. People have escaped ambulances to avoid going there.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It seems pretty accurate to me, the name, that is. How about this as an alternative: "Health Care De-collectivizing and De-Stalinization Act of 2011"?

  • Jersey Patriot||

    I am ashamed by how retarded these people are... or how retarded they take the American people to be.

    But not ashamed when your hero Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama fires missiles from remote control planes into villages, murdering innocent people and children. Your priorities are deeply fucked.

  • ||

    Those hearts and minds aren't going to win themselves doncha know!

  • cynical||

    At least they bothered to give the bill a name.

  • Invisible Finger||

    If Republicans are actually interested in altering the law, they will have to find narrow ways to hack it apart bit by painstaking bit.

    They aren't interested in altering it, they're interested in REPEALING it!!

    Taking it apart bit by painstaking bit is a stupid bureaucrat's way of doing it.

    Votes to repeal it are the exact thing voters need to see - what congresscum want it repealed and which ones want it kept in whole or in part. It'll expose the chicken-shits in the GOP.

  • ||

    Basically what we did in 2010 is replace Democrats who bloated the federal government with Republicans who intend to engage in a lot of futile fist-shaking to give their supporters the illusion that they're fixing things. All of them might as well just pack up and go home. Senators and Representatives in both parties can help us best at this point by not showing up for work at all. That way they can't screw anything else up.

  • ||

    What are Republicans supposed to do? Stage a coup? And if they go home, rest assured the Democrats will gladly stay and run things and do more damage.

    Were you saying the Dems should just go home in 2009? This strikes me as concern trolling.

  • robc||

    What are Republicans supposed to do?

    I already covered that. Attach this bill as an amendment to EVERY SINGLE BILL THAT PASSES THE HOUSE.

  • ||

    If they do nothing but "symbolic" crap, then yes. But if they keep pushing on this issue, they probably will prevail. Obama doesn't want his administration to be remembered as the one that went dormant for two years.

  • West Texas||

    There are 24 Dems (or their caucus buddies) up for reelection in 2012.

    Those who are going to be shitting bricks when this vote comes to the Senate:

    Nelson, FL
    McCaskill, MO
    Tester, MT
    Conrad, ND
    Nelson, NE
    Brown, OH
    Casey, PA
    Webb, VA
    Manchin, WV
    Kohl, WI

    Those who probably should be at least a little bit scared:

    Bingaman, NM
    Gillibrand, NY
    Klobuchar, MN
    Lieberman, CT

    Those who don't give a flying shit because their constituents are parasites and/or statists and/or idiots:

    Carper, DE
    Akaka, HI
    Cardin, MD
    Stabenow, MI
    Menendez, NJ
    Whitehouse, RI
    Cantwell, WA
    Sanders, VT

    Boehner should be voting on this and sending the same bill over to the Senate every couple of months.

  • ||

    You don't need to shut down the entire government to make the Senate vote. Congress is supposed to pass 13 appropriations bills. Pass apporpriates for DoD (needed for the Republican base and because that is why we have the feds in the first place) and for Depatment of the Interior (most of the bitching during the last shut-down was over tourist unable to visit the Washington Monument), and then attach it to funding for HHS, Dep't of Energy, Department of Education, etc. . . .

    The Senate will try to strip it out of each funding bill, and then send the bill back to the House since both need to pass identical pieces of legislation. The house then re-attaches repeal.

    End result, we have a big ping-pong game that makes Harry Reid and President Obama sacrifice (1) bureaucracies that no one cares about and (2) help for the poor (food stamps, medicaid, etc. , , , ) on a massively unpopular piece of legislation.

    Also--add in a bunch of whereas clauses about how the health care law has resulted in the loss of child only policies, required waiver after waiver so that others can keep the insurance the President promised they could keep, and will be tied up in job-killing litigation over its constitutionality until for the next two years. Great theatre if Boeher and company have the balls.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Alt text:
    "How was my New Year? Smell my finger."

  • House GOP||

    If we can't repeal O-Care, we will just dismantle it piece by piece.

    Just like Kim Jong-Il realized the Ryugyong Hotel was a structurally unsound mess, and then proceeded to dismantle it piece by piece, until he realized that was hard. Now, he just pretends it isn't there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryugyong_Hotel

    Fuck it, we'll just scream about illegals. They're taking our health care! Build that wall!

  • ||

    It's easy to repeal ObamaCare and Obama will sign it!

    Just attach it to the Debt Ceiling increase. The administration says it would be "insane" to oppose the increase, so they are offered the choice to do the insane or sacrifice their nationalization scheme.

    Of course, they'd have hysterics over such a consolidated bill. But, the price of cutting the deficit is cutting spending. If the Republicans have to start somewhere, why not here?

  • Paul||

    Your billionaire masters (the Koch brothers, the Cheneys, the Bushes, the Mellon-Scafies, and others) won't let you do it because they'd lose too much money if the US actually defaults on its debt.

  • cynical||

    Default? We'd be a little late on the payment while we worked out what to cut. Check's in the mail. We'll pay the late fee too.

  • DRM||

    Sounds good to me. If Obama wants to play chicken over it, let him.

  • ||

    If Medicare Part D didn't come out of an era when the Rs held both houses and the executive, I might take them more serious.

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