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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Mitch McConnell's promise kept on ObamaCare

By Jennifer Rubin

As The Post reported earlier today:

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.

According to my favorite Senate rule maven (hereinafter, "Rule Maven"), the amendment will prompt the Democrats to raise a point of order -- claiming, in effect, that "repealing a multi-trillion, multi-bureaucratic expansion of the government will add to the deficit." So, Rule Maven says, Republicans will move "to waive the point of order (or 'poo,' in Senate parlance), which is a 60-vote threshold." That vote likely will happen tomorrow.

Earlier today, McConnell announced in a press avail: "We pledged to the American people that we would seek to repeal this 2,700-page bill that seeks to restructure all of American health care and put the decisions in Washington. I'm pleased to announce that all 47 of my members will be voting to repeal Obamacare." Thirteen Democrats won't join them, and maybe none will. But the process of pressuring vulnerable Democrats to go on the record in support of an unpopular, exorbitantly expensive and quite possibly unconstitutional statute has begun. And McConnell will do it again and again for the next two years.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 1, 2011; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Obama looks confident that this strategy will prove to be a winning strategy for the Republicans. There is a chance that the bill might fall and they have to replace it with a new one. This article gives much more info.

Posted by: rajz2011 | February 1, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be helpful in this debate for the Republicans to have a replacement plan ready to go before they move forward on repeal of the current law. It bothers me that for conservatives, a replacement of this law is just an after-thought. Its as though they were perfectly happy with the health care system in this country before the bill passed. When I look at my pay stub, the biggest cut by far doesn't come from dreaded taxes, but from health care coverage to Carefirst. Since I've been woring for my company, the coverage they help pay for has lessened and the costs have gone up and up. That's been going on over the last seven years. I'd like to see something done about that. What are the Republicans offering to help?

Posted by: Scubergmu | February 1, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

McConnell keeps his promises.

Obama, not so much.

Posted by: swift_boater | February 1, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Manchin claim that he would not have voted for the bill as written? He's a possible pickup, and there's always Ben Nelson, unless they buy him off again.

Posted by: geokstr | February 1, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Scubergmu. I like the MoveOn talking point about "the Republicans have no plan", so it's best just to keep this disaster called Obamacare. It took me five seconds of googling to find that the main points of the Republican plan are:
* Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
* Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
* Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.
* Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

All of that sounds like a plan to me. A much better plan than having the bureaucrat who last week was deciding whether to issue me a driver's license, deciding next week if I get cancer treatment simply because he's at a new desk with a new job title.

Posted by: Diggerdownunder | February 1, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"And McConnell will do it again and again..."

Awwright, let's cue up the Beach Boys & catch a wave 'cause the Surf's Up (esp. Clear Lake, 25 m. away) ! Watt'samatter, don't like the Beach Boys with their unsavory elements, what are you, unamerican? well good a new committee's waitin' in the house, and rule maven will be a num lever when the nums improve soon...

Posted by: aardunza | February 2, 2011 1:52 AM | Report abuse

So tell us how most Americans like all the parts but don't like the bill. When all the Seniors realize they are losong their donut hole coverage and all those with older children and with preexisting conditions lose their coverage under the new Repub nothing the Repubs will slink back under their rocks. The party of no will eventually be recognized for what it is by a large majority of the voters.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | February 2, 2011 5:16 AM | Report abuse

#Falmouth1 "The party of no will eventually be recognized for what it is by a large majority of the voters."

That happened last November, idiot, when Democrats were thrown out of office across the country.

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | February 2, 2011 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Except for the fact that the polls show that the majority doesn't want it repealed. Most want tweaks and an overwhelming majority want it increased to include a public option, the lack of which is why most weren't favorable to the bill in the first place. Pretending that most people didn't want reform and don't support it now is delusional.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse


How is it that my taxes can buy Mitch and his fellow conservative hypocrites the best government health care, with the best doctors, at the finest facilites available, for life?

The day these bozos end their own free ride is the day we might begin to take them seriously...not agree with them mind you, but at least give them a hearing.

If you are a true conservative, you should begin demanding in your column that they give up their "congress-care" and join the rest of us scrambling to take care of our families. I'm sure you won't.

Posted by: bobgormandesign | February 2, 2011 7:22 AM | Report abuse

So Sen. McConnell, who in his years as Republican Majority and Minority Leader has yet to come up with any jobs program (other than for tax attorneys for the super-rich and for the companies that send our jobs overseas), thinks that the best use of his efforts is to deprive millions of OTHER Americans of access to health care.

For Diggerdownunder, there is nothing in Obamacare to keep states from developing innovative health plans or to keep organizations from pooling. And do you REALLY think that insurance companies don't use clerks to determine what is and is not covered and at what rates?

Posted by: edallan | February 2, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

fingersfly...I don't know where you get your info from, but I sure haven't read any thing that verifies your ideas. But then I don't read the Huffington Post either or watch Chris Matthews.

Posted by: jhnjdy | February 2, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't either, jhnjdy. But the fact is that most people want TWEAKS, not repeal. In fact, MOST people in this country want a public option and that is why MOST people who opposed "ObamaCare" did so, not because they didn't want reform. If you look at the polls yourself, rather than reading Fox' interpretation of them, that will be clear. The AP/GfK 1/5-10/2011 poll shows that

"As for repeal, only about one in four say they want to do away with the law completely. Among Republicans support for repeal has dropped sharply, from 61 percent after the elections to 49 percent now."

So you don't even have a majority of Republicans who support repeal. Like I said, MOST people want the glitches fixed and MOST people have wanted a public option all along. MOST oppose the mandate that everyone buy insurance from the private market, which was a GOP scheme for the benefit of the insurance industry (one of their biggest campaign donors.) "Other major provisions of the law, including a requirement that insurers accept people with pre-existing medical conditions, got support from half or more of the public in the poll."

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Schubergmu just wrote: "It bothers me that for conservatives, a replacement of this law is just an after-thought."
I wonder how how bothered Mr. Schubergmu was at the lack of thought put into the Dem bill that passed. Dems shoved a 2700 page bill through Congress without even reading it and now this writer is upset that Republicans don't have a bill handy for Mr. Schubergmu to attack before we get rid of the horrible Dem bill. Maybe the Left needs to do a better job of explaining why a replacement has to be ready before we get rid of a bill that takes away the liberties of hard working Americans.

Posted by: josephpturner | February 2, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Here is the actual poll, not someone's interpretation of it:

40% TOTALLY support the passed health care reform.

41% TOTALLY oppose the passed health care reform

19% like it the way it is.
43% want more reform.
26% want it repealed.
10% want it changed to less reform.

31% like the mandate to purchase.
59% do not like the mandate to purchase,
50% want insurance co's to be required to sell insurance to people already sick.
59% want insurance co's prohibited from cancelling insurance when people get sick.

Those polled were 42% Democrat, 36% Republican and 6% Independent.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

As to the support for public option, polls taken before health insurance reform was passed showed:

"On the issue that has been perhaps the most pronounced flash point in the national debate, 57 percent of all Americans now favor a public insurance option, while 40 percent oppose it. Support has risen since mid-August, when a bare majority, 52 percent, said they favored it. (In a June Post-ABC poll, support was 62 percent.)

If a public plan were run by the states and available only to those who lack affordable private options, support for it jumps to 76 percent. Under those circumstances, even a majority of Republicans, 56 percent, would be in favor of it, about double their level of support without such a limitation"

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the individual mandate was originally proposed by the HERITAGE FOUNDATION during the GEORGE H.W. BUSH Administration.

“The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea,’’ said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits — two ideas that are now part of Obama’s law. Pauly’s paper was well-received — by the George H.W. Bush administration.

--- Like end-of-life counseling which Georgia Senator Isakson sponsored when a good-old-boy Republican was president but which turned into something horrible when a Democrat, who also happens to be black, became president.

Posted by: edallan | February 2, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Your understanding is 100% correct, edallan.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@fingersfly | February 2, 2011 8:58 AM

Well here is an even more real poll (a reputable pollster working with likely voters):

"...A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 47% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose repeal, with 29% who are Strongly Opposed...."

"...Support for repeal has ranged from 50% to 63% in weekly tracking since Democrats in Congress passed the law in March of last year...."

"...Forty-four percent (44%) believe repeal of the health care law will be good for the economy, while 30% say it will hurt economic conditions in the country. Fourteen percent (14%) feel repeal will have no impact on the economy, and another 12% are not sure. These findings have changed little since April 2010...."

and especially this:

"...Voters trust Republicans, by a 52% to 38% margin, more than Democrats to handle the issue of health care...."

I'll trust this over your moth-eaten , democrat-laden example.

Posted by: jafco | February 2, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats in the Senate aren't cognizant of the fact that ObamaCare played a significant role in their loss at the voting booths in 2010...then they really are stubborn and blind. People WILL remember this one during the next key elections...this is not insignificant or marginal.

Posted by: smith4321 | February 2, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Jafco wrote:

"A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 47% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose repeal, with 29% who are Strongly Opposed."

If you weren't functionally illiterate you would understand that "at least somewhat favor repeal" is saying the same thing the AP poll said, just saying it ways that make ignorant people misunderstand it. "At least somewhat favor repeal" means they want it changed. People all across the political spectrum want it changed. It was bad compromises with the GOP who STILL voted against it that made it so unpopular. MOST people want a public option, not mandatory insurance at great expense for the benefit of insurance companies rather than the patients.

The way questions are asked in polls can make a big difference in the outcome. Rasmussen deliberately tries to lump everyone who doesn't like the health reform law for many different reasons into the anti-reform side and that is deceitful. Most people wanted a public option when they elected Obama, they wanted it when the bill was being negotiated and they still want it.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@smith4321: The Democrats lost seats in November because there were more of them up for re-election in conservative districts. Guess you didn't notice that a large percentage were blue dogs. When stupid people are unhappy they vote for the other side regardless whose fault it is that they are unhappy. Beck & Co tell you cretins who to be mad at and you jump like puppets. The issue was and is the economy, stupid.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

It's very odd that Rasmussen doesn't mention the political affiliations of those polled. Another way to skew the results.

Posted by: fingersfly | February 2, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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