In a straight-party vote, House Republicans yesterday voted to repeal ObamaCare. Two Democrats voted with them.
The Senate will not pass this bill. It has no chance of becoming law.
What matters is whether the House will be Republican in 2017, along with the Senate, and with a Republican in the White House. Then we will see how firm this opposition to ObamaCare really is.
We will see if Republicans campaign on this issue in 2016.
The test of a political party’s commitment to any position comes when there is a real possibility that a straight party vote will pass a bill into law. The Democrats had this in 2010, when they passed ObamaCare.
Yesterday’s vote was political grandstanding. It said that the Republican Party remains opposed to ObamaCare when the party does not have the votes to repeal it.
The test will come, if at all, only when it does have the votes. That means no modifications, adjustments, or “let’s fix it to make it work” version of the bill in 2017. Repeal. No compromise. Straight party vote. Victory. No more ObamaCare.
“Having the votes” means a 10-vote edge in the Senate: no filibuster threat.
We will find out in 2017 how committed the Republican Party is to repealing the welfare state. So far, it has had no such commitment ever since 1953. In any case, it has controlled Congress and the White House only twice since 1933: 1953-1955, and 2001 to 2003, when Republicans held the Senate because Vice President Cheney could break a tie vote. But because of the threat of a filibuster, the Democrats in the Senate could block any major change. That will probably be true in 2017, too.
ObamaCare is here to stay, I think. Sad, but true. The reaction against George W. Bush in 2009 gave Pelosi her chance. She took it.