Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday introduced a measure aimed at repealing the national health-care overhaul as an amendment to the first Senate bill of the new Congress.
McConnell proposed the repeal measure as an amendment to a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill. The move came one day after a federal judge in Florida ruled that Congress had overstepped its authority by mandating insurance for nearly all Americans. A vote could come as early as Wednesday, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.
The push for a vote on repealing the health-care law has picked up broad support among Senate Republicans, although it’s unlikely that full repeal would garner the number of votes necessary to pass the Senate. South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint announced on Monday afternoon that his bill calling for the full repeal of the health-care overhaul had won the support of all 47 Senate Republicans; earlier Monday, some GOP senators had yet to sign onto the bill.
Reid probably has the votes to defeat this, alas… but it will be very good for demonstrating to the voters which Senators got the message of 2010 and which ones didn’t.
And, the second shot:
Other Republicans in Congress are moving ahead aggressively with their effort to overturn the health-care overhaul. Earlier Tuesday, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.) introduced legislation that would allow states to opt out of provisions of the national health care law including the employer mandate, individual insurance benefit mandates and Medicaid expansion.
Graham said that while the full repeal of the health-care law remains Senate Republicans’ “number-one goal,” the State Health Care Choice Act that he and Barrasso are proposing “takes the battle out of Washington to the states” and that if enough states ultimately opt out, it could be enough to render the national health-care law ineffective.
“Instead of requiring states to follow Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all approach to health-care policy, our bill allows states to decide what works best for their citizens,” Graham said at a Capitol news conference.
I would bet that at least 28 states (the 26 that were part of the Florida court case, along with the two that filed separate lawsuits) would opt out, leaving less than half the states opting in to ObamaCare… probably deep blue states, in fact. That would probably lead to a further exodus from these states to deep red states, which would in turn weaken the Democrats even further. Assuming the Democrats understand this (and remember, they thought ObamaCare would be popular, which is a good indicator of what they understand), they’ll probably fight tooth and nail to defeat it. Of course, they might fight tooth and nail to defeat it anyway, on the premise that anything the Republicans propose can’t–in their minds–be good.
The ObamaCare fight isn’t over yet. There’s still lots of innings to play.