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Democrats’ New ObamaCare Defense: Repeal Is Unconstitutional!

January 19, 2011 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Health Care

This week the newly majority Republican House of the 112th Congress will vote on repeal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as The Albatross Around Democrats’ Necks.

Republicans have named their bill the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” proving again that Republicans are more likely to give their legislation names that are corny, contentious, and accurate, whereas Democrats are more likely to give their legislation names that are slick, mollifying, and deceptive.

Pundits expect H.R. 2 to easily clear the House, where ObamaCare narrowly passed 219-212 last March, before the great Republican Reckoning of November 2010.  In that election, not only did Democrats lose a net 63 seats to Republicans, but the remaining Democratic flotsam left after the tsunami realized they ought to consider switching their votes unless they wanted to be swept away in November 2012.

In an insightful analysis, The Weekly Standard reported that in swing districts, just 28% of sitting House Democrats who voted for ObamaCare held onto their seats in the 2010 elections.  In contrast, 57% of sitting Democrats in swing districts who voted against ObamaCare kept their seats.

If all House members still in office after November’s election voted the way they did last spring, all newly sworn-in Republicans voted to repeal ObamaCare, and all newly sworn-in Democrats voted not to repeal ObamaCare, the House would vote for repeal by 255-180—a margin more than 10 times as large as the one by which ObamaCare passed.  That’s assuming no newly sworn-in Democrats—none of whom are saddled with a prior vote for ObamaCare, and some of whom campaigned on the promise that they would have opposed it—will vote to repeal it.

Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic leadership have alternately been laughing at and warning against the repeal effort, which they claim is both pathetically useless and grievously dangerous.

Reid announced that Congressional Republicans “have to understand that the health care bill is not going to be repealed…  [They] should get a new lease on life and talk about something else.”  White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs smirked that the repeal effort “is not a serious legislative effort.”

Meanwhile, Obama has insinuated that repeal would be a grave mistake that would send the nation “backward.”  Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cautioned that repeal could cause 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions to lose their health insurance—a ludicrous claim promptly deconstructed by the Cato Institute.  (New ObamaCare slogan: “If you liked your health insurance, you can’t unkeep it!)

Pelosi plans to march a parade of living-in-their-parents’-basements twentysomething moochers and other sad sacks in front of Congress to talk about the wonders health care reform has already worked for them.  The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel wailed to Ed Schultz on MSNBC, “The Democrats need to tell real-life stories.  They need to bring people into this process and blanket this country with tales of those whose lives have been improved.”

Learning disabled Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee declared that repealing health care is “unconstitutional.”  (Now there’s some irony for you!)

Lee’s brilliant reasoning is that repeal would involve “denying someone their life and liberty without due process.”  She asks, “Can you tell me what’s more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?”  (How about taking away their right to an education that includes a basic understanding of the Constitution?)

Now, even the bill’s authors are admitting that ObamaCare may not reduce costs as planned, and that the government might eventually have to go the way of Massachusetts via price controls and increased taxes, or Tennessee via massive dumping of patients from its rolls.

Yes, it’s true that even after the House repeal bill passes, Reid is likely to refuse to bring H.R. 2 before the Senate, where it probably wouldn’t pass anyway, and certainly wouldn’t clear the 2/3 majority needed to override Obama’s veto.

But Republicans are expected to take over the Senate in droves and bolster their House majority in 2012, at which point they would have enough votes to repeal ObamaCare.  By then, they wouldn’t need 67 votes in the Senate if a Republican president were elected.

In the meantime, House Republicans plan to defund ObamaCare step-by-step via the appropriations process.

Twenty-six states—a majority—are now suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the individual mandate and other ObamaCare provisions.  Democrats previously ridiculed the possibility of challenging ObamaCare in court, but they’re not laughing over that prospect now.

The House vote is the first step on the legislative track toward derailing this heinous legislation.  Congress may not end up being the route by which it is eventually immobilized.  But the momentum to abolish this bill is unstoppable.

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