Thursday, February 3, 2011
Health-Care Repeal Fails in Senate, Next Course: Incrementally Defeat Individual Sections of Health Care -- Promising Long, Drawn-Out Debate
We all read yesterday that the Senate struck down the bill to repeal health care reform, which, of course, was not really news. The House vote to strike down job-killing Obamacare was largely a symbolic measure. The real news came out today, which is that after weeks of wrangling about a bill that actually has a negative impact on the economy, House Republicans announced they will dedicate many more weeks and possibly months attempting to incrementally defeat the most unpopular elements of the bill.
Americans are, according to polls (poll analysis), increasingly flocking towards the President as Republicans continue to bungle their mandate to focus on jobs and the economy. Obama’s approval ratings are the highest they’ve been for years, largely due to an increase in support from independents (36% approval rate last July, compared to 48% now). Not only are Republicans over-focusing on the outright repeal of health care, they're also focusing more on ‘family values’ issues like abortion. Just today Republican lawmakers, after massive outcries from women’s groups and days of dragging their feet, finally removed the term “forcible rape” from the antiabortion bill being debated in Congress. Critics argue that rape is by definition forced, as it seemed lawmakers were trying to make some cases of rape except – like in cases where the victim is unconscious.
But back to health care, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, prepared Americans for a long fight on repealing individual parts of the law, saying “These are the first steps in a long road that will culminate in 2012. We will continue to expose flaws and faults in this legislation… and the courts will continue to review it.” Democrats and Republicans alike are both hoping the Supreme Court will quickly take up the case to put an end to the debate.
Also coincidentally in the news today Virginia’s attorney general announced that he wanted to bypass the lower court system by asking the Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of the health care law on a more expedited basis. But, historically at least, Democrats have a lot more precedents to point towards in arguing that the health care law is constitutional. As Senator Richard Lugar, Democrat of Illinois, said, “This is not the first major law that’s been challenged in the courts, even challenged successfully in the lower courts.” He then cited the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Federal Minimum Wage law – all of which were challenged, sometimes successfully in lower courts, and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.
CS Monitor: Health-care repeal fails in Senate
NY Times: VA. to ask supreme court to rule on health law