House Obamacare Repeal Passes

It won't make any difference to your insurance premiums, which will go up; or to the individual mandate tax, which you will have to pay; or to the quality of U.S. health care, which will decline. 

But the House of Representatives has voted to repeal ObamaCare (live C-SPAN coverage). The Republican-controlled body will symbolically do what all the laws of the land were unable to do — prevent President Obama's ill-conceived and scandalously adopted law from making life in this country suck even more. 

Five Democrats joined the repeal vote: Dan Boren (Okla.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Mike Ross (Ark.),  and one I couldn't hear (maybe Pennsylvania's Tim Holden?). 

Media reactions: 

ABC's John Parkinson says this is the 33rd attempt to repeal since the original law was passed in a sordid backstairs intrigue on a Saturday night. 

Hoo-larious funmaker Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (that's what old-timers used to call a newspaper) says the Republicans are stabbing a voodoo doll. (Racist!) 

And from the land of the fantastically efficient National Health Service, the Guardian's Thomas Rogan calls it an empty gesture

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  • Mr. FIFY||

    Won't matter; The Fuck You, That's Why Administration's word is The Law.

  • John Thacker||

    It is, as the article admits, not the 33rd attempt to repeal it entirely. Merely the 33rd attempt to at least change or alter one provision:

    Not all 33 votes have been futile efforts. Republicans boast that seven provisions have been repealed and signed into law. Free choice vouchers and a tax reporting requirement for small businesses were repealed by Congress and signed by President Obama into law. The Obama administration also pulled the plug on the CLASS Act program for long-term care.
  • A Mathematician||

    Is today like, fuck grammar/spelling day? So many mistakes in so many blog posts today.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Empty gestures are what the House does best. (And I mean that in every sense.)

  • BMFPitt||

    Yeah. As much as I hate unproductive showboating like this, it's at least taking time away from them doing other things that might actually pass.

  • T o n y||

    I have insurance through work. So does that mean I'll have to pay the penalty? Oh no, it doesn't? So is Tim Cavanaugh a big fat liar?

  • ||

    You're lucky Tony. Hope your employer doesn't decide that insurance for their employees is a suckers game and cancels it.

  • T o n y||

    Just so long as enough employers do it to supply the requisite crisis to motivate passage of a single-payer plan.

  • wareagle||

    if only the president would admit that his scheme is about crashing private insurance to bring about single payer. Single payer works so well in all those countries who have it, the ones who spend less than we do on health, mostly because they say "no" to a wide range of treatments that Americans take for granted.

  • John||

    Dream on dipshit. There is no money for a single payer plan. Medicare and Medicaide are both broke. It is just a matter of time before they disappear in a sea of red ink.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Damn. I agree with John for the first time ever.

    Bring the Death Panels on!

  • wareagle||

    you make fun of the term as though it is a figment of fevered imaginations when, in fact, it is a key component of socialized systems. Countries that have them simply refuse to provide certain treatments, medications, procedures, etc for some patients.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I am in full agreement. I hate Medicare and want to abolish it or smother it before it kills us.

    Dying people should die before bankrupting us. Richard Lamm (D) had it spot on.

    I am serious.

  • T o n y||

    People with means are perfectly free to acquire whatever services they want. You don't even know what you're bitching about, but that's typical of someone getting their grievances from the always-contradictory Republican stupid factory.

    First you bitch that government provides healthcare. Then you bitch that it doesn't provide enough. I swear.

  • Juice||

    People with means are perfectly free to acquire whatever services they want.

    Not after the mandate kicks in.

  • #||

    No, people with enough money to buy expensive care they want out of pocket can do so, but a government single payer prohibits me from buying a cheap catastrophic insurance plan that would cover me. In "single payer" systems, the very wealthy buy their care out of pocket and then everyone else is forced to submit to government rationing schemes and price controls.

  • ant1sthenes||

    People with means are perfectly free to acquire whatever services they want.

    No, then they would be paying for them. And then there would be multiple payers. In true single payer, either the government approves your treatment (and pays for it), or it doesn't, and you can eat shit.

  • T o n y||

    That would be a shame since old, poor, and disabled people's healthcare requirements and costs will remain. It's better for business sector apologists for such a monumental crisis not to occur, you do realize? The GOP used to have smart incrementalists. Now the Paul Ryans are getting greedy and risk undermining their mission.

    Have you also considered that Bush's TARP is what saved the capitalist status quo? A bigger crash would have motivated stronger corrective action.

  • wareagle||

    thanks for highlighting the single biggest shortcoming with Medicare - it applies to ALL old people, not just the poor or disabled. All of them. Whatever people pay into it, chances are good they will receive several times more in benefits. What could possibly go wrong with such a system.

  • T o n y||

    We end up spending more on healthcare. What's the alternative you're proposing? Take old people out back and shoot them?

  • wareagle||

    I would start with lifting the ban on interstate sales. Competition is a wonderful mechanism for lower prices and improving services. Second, get the govt out of the health care biz altogether except for the genuinely poor. Third, put some of the onus on consumers; it's not the job of the state to make sure your health choices are smart. If you smoke a pack a day or more, are grossly overweight, and never exercise, it's not up to the rest of us to bail you out.

  • T o n y||

    But that's not a real answer, it's a couple of dishonest GOP talking points with some brutal daddy's justice tacked on. Essentially "take old people out back and shoot them."

    This lacks a certain appreciation for current understanding of the reality of human choice. Are you really prepared to claim that Americans spontaneously decided en masse to start becoming fatter and lazier sometime in the 20th century? Does that sound ludicrous? OK, so then there are environmental factors. How do you fix those? Lecturing people about personal responsibility? When has that ever worked?

  • #||

    No, hes claiming that the vast majority of old people have the means to buy their own insurance/ care out of pocket and in a freer market insurance prices would change based on you habits (smoking, weight etc) and therefore an incentive would exists to get rid of the habit.

  • #||

    The need to socialize healthcare in the name of helping the actual poor is no greater than the need to nationalize all the grocery stores in the name of getting food to the actual poor.

    An effective safety net for the actual poor could be constructed for a fraction of the cost of the status quo and restrict way less human choices if the government would just let market forces operate.

  • ||

    Tony our debt is at 100% GDP and set to go higher.

    On what planet do you live on in which the US government could afford single payer system within the next 30 years?

    Any crisis we have can only result in less government services...not more.

  • T o n y||

    We have the most expensive healthcare sector in the world, and all the single-payer alternatives are cheaper, so what are you talking about?

    Taxes are not the only cost people incur!

  • wareagle||

    jesus on a biscuit, you dimwit. You know why those alternatives are cheaper? It's because the govts running them SAY NO. OFTEN. We give grandpa the $500 pill so he can hang on for three more weeks, or the $12,000 chemo treatment that buys two more months. The single-payer folks say no.

  • T o n y||

    Citation please. A single-payer system would have some increased costs because of the enrollment of the currently un- and under-insured, but it would save an estimated $570 billion by eliminating insurance middleman and profit costs and simplifying doctor/hospital payments. Link

    You're essentially claiming that the rest of the civilized world, because of national healthcare programs, must have lower life expectancy and other bad healthcare metrics. But that's not the case.

  • John Thacker||

    It doesn't matter why we're more expensive. Medicare is ALSO more expensive than similar plans in other countries, and so is Medicaid. Perhaps the denying of care in other countries is effective and efficient, but there's no reason to believe that it will happen here.

    I tend to believe that many of the figures are lifestyle related, but besides that, there is no way to reduce spending without denying some heroic end of life care, and I don't see that happening.

  • T o n y||

    If there's no way out of a wealth-based disparity in access to healthcare and end-of-life care then there's really nothing to bitch about.

    I say a civilized person has a right to be a part of the most efficient possible health insurance scheme, and I believe that to be a national single-payer model. I believe that right is prior to the right of people to horde excess wealth.

    Maybe your implicit claim is right and there is no way, especially with our poor lifestyle, to ensure excellent cradle-to-grave healthcare for all. But there's plenty of waste to trim and plenty of excess wealth lying around to get a better system than we have.

  • ||

    Hey Tony, for the umpteenth time: HEALTHCARE IS NOT A RIGHT.

    No matter how many times you repeat it, you still don't have the right to force someone else to provide you a service.

  • T o n y||

    Yet you claim the right to "force" policemen to come to your rescue when needed.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "say a civilized person has a right to be a part of the most efficient possible health insurance scheme, and I believe that to be a national single-payer model."

    Stipulating (for sake of argument) that single payer is most efficient. Apparently the morality of how single payer manages to acheive that efficiency matters not to you.

    "If there's no way out of a wealth-based disparity in access to healthcare and end-of-life care then there's really nothing to bitch about."

    Yes, there is. You would substitute disparity in wealth with disparity in political influence, an inherently more corrupt system.

    Your values are fascist and fundamentally opposed to American principles.

  • wareagle||

    Citation? How about personal experience with two parents. I heard my mother be told that a leg problem could be solved with surgery, but NOT on someone her age.

    The rest of the civilized world has different metrics not because of the quality of its hospitals, but because of a lifestyle that:
    --requires walking because of population density
    --has grocery shelves with fewer processed items because of 1) countries being much smaller and 2) folks shopping almost daily

    If you need further evidence, see Canada, the British National Health Service, and other places who cultures do not include a politically perpetuated permanent underclass or a huge percentage of lardasses.

  • T o n y||

    Surely your mother can go and buy the surgery she needs out-of-pocket somewhere, can she not? Isn't that the option you'd prefer to force on everyone?

  • wareagle||

    you are missing the point. In the US, she could go out of pocket and buy it, or use a combination of paying and insurance. In Europe, it's "sorry, but we can't help you." The latter is single payer. I'm not forcing anything on anyone; that's you and this ridiculous notion that the state will provide all.

  • T o n y||

    Then why are European populations universally more satisfied with their healthcare systems than the US's?

  • Virginian||

    The ones who are still alive might like it more.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....there.html

  • ||

    We have the most expensive healthcare sector in the world, and all the single-payer alternatives are cheaper

    They are not cheaper. World wide health care is cheaper without single payer systems.

    The US is the only exception. The mistake you are making is thinking health care is expensive in this country because of the Free market system...no, it is expensive because it is not a free market system....and making it less free will drive up costs and/or ration care.

  • Keith3D||

    "We have the most expensive healthcare sector in the world, and all the single-payer alternatives are cheaper, so what are you talking about?"

    Odd that not too long ago, we did not have the most expensive system in the world. What has changed? One factor that comes to mind is that our system is more socialized than ever before in history. In fact it's more than half socialized at this point. You are criticizing a system that is more socialized than free market, and somehow think by doing so you're attacking free markets.

  • Restoras||

    This is what will happen regardless if Obamacare is repealed or not. It will eventually go away or become meaningless as the national debt moves higher and higher.

  • ||

    Actually if the law lasted long enough for healthy portion of employers to drop health insurance and then repealed it such an action would probably reign in health care costs.

    Employer funded healthcare insurance is at least one of the top 3 reasons health care in the US costs so much.

  • Ska||

    Rein in costs? Neigh!

  • #||

    Agreed, but the law's effects on the individual market would need to be repealed. The healthcare law basically destroys the individual market by socializing it in everything but name.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Wait until your employer realizes it's cheaper to pay the $2,000 tax than the $15,000 to insure you.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No. Your insurer will be FORCED to drop your coverage because even MORE people like you will have to pay for coverage!

    Don't you get it?

  • ||

    No, you're going to get fired for spending too many work hours posting comments at a web site.

  • ||

    Oh snap!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The GOP definitely IS stabbing a voodoo doll in hopes Obamacare is magically overturned somehow. 33 times now it seems.

    Go for 500 times Boener!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They (House GOP) did everything they can to achieve something they think is important for the country. Why is that a bad thing?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It's not a bad thing.

    I am all for representation. It is a drag on true freedom sometimes (like the bogus drug war).

  • John||

    Thanks to Obamacare, you will probably never see another Democratic house in your lifetime.

  • ||

    Why would you respond to a transparently obvious sockpuppet as if it were a real person?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Being on a conference call.

  • John||

    No. What they are doing is making Democrats vote for a wildly unpopular bill over and over again. There is a reason why Reid won't let the bill come to a vote in the Senate. This thing is an albatross (Ed Rendell's words not mine) around the Democrats' neck. And Republicans are just doing the smart thing and beating them with it.

  • ||

    If the republicans don't win the senate or only win it by a few senators the house should attach a repeal Obamacare amendment to every bill they pass.

    They could get double bonuses for this.

    "Senate democrats vote down wildly popular puppies are cute bill because of a repeal Obamacare amendment which is also wildly popular."

  • Mike M.||

    Here's hoping they in fact repeal the whole thing for real when Obama is out of office in six months.

  • John||

    I love how the new Dem troll talking point is how we just have to move on from this.

    Hold it. I thought this bill was the greatest achievement in history. I would think Democrats would love to have a chance to vote for this thing again. What do you mean move on?

  • T o n y||

    The faster one gets to the 'acceptance' stage of the grieving process the better, one would assume.

  • wareagle||

    seems a big part of the country is nowhere near acceptance just yet; they appear stuck between denial and anger, mostly anger at realizing (finally for some) that their govt will screw them.

  • John||

    I love the bill Tony. But I am a Republican hack. Thanks to Obamacare, I will never see another Democratic House in my life time. The last thing I want is for it to be repealed. As it is every single failure of the entire healthcare system is going to be blamed on Democrats.

    Good luck with that.

  • T o n y||

    Although I'd be a little more optimistic I wouldn't necessarily disagree with your sentiment. This is the tragedy of incrementalism I referenced above. When we take half-measures (be it Obamacare or the stimulus), we predictably get disappointing results, and it's possible we are not inclined to believe that a full measure would be better, preferring to assume that it was a step in the wrong direction entirely.

  • wareagle||

    no, when we go whole-hog down the Keynesian road, we get results that should be predictable to anyone not in the statist bootlicking business.

  • T o n y||

    But we never tried that.

  • wareagle||

    what we did produced equally predictable results. And there are those societies that have gone whole state. The ones who have not already died, well, perhaps you have read about them.

  • ||

    But we never tried that.

    We never tried Keynesian economic stimulus?

    You are an idiot.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    "It wasn't big enough!"

  • ||

    Thanks to Obamacare, I will never see another Democratic House in my life time.

    Ummm

    I think you severely underestimate the ability of a republican controlled house to completely screw themselves out of a job.

    If you can forget the republican controlled house from 2001 to 2006 and how shitty they were then i think it would just as easy for the voting public to forget about the shitty democrat congress of 2007 to 2010.

  • ||

    The faster one gets to the 'acceptance' stage of the grieving process the better, one would assume.

    I think I will Quote this from November 2012 to November 2014 for every response I post to your comments.

  • ant1sthenes||

    If you have the power to resurrect the dead, it seems overly fatalistic to do so.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "The faster one gets to the 'acceptance' stage of the grieving process the better,..."

    We'll feel better once Stockholm Syndrome takes hold?

    ..or is it "just lie back and enjoy it"?

  • Restoras||

    Outstanding alt+text!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    True. I need to make sure to compliment more instead of just using negative reinforcement.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I understand that Jesse Jackson, Jr. voted absentee against the bill and in favor of Obamacare.

    [please insert punch line here]

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