Republicans are finally starting to admit they’ve lost on Obamacare, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to give up the fight — even though they also acknowledge their repeal efforts are largely symbolic at this point. Some freshman Republicans in Congress have started pushing for yet another Obamacare repeal vote simply so they can assure their constituents back home they tried to get rid of the health law.
Thanks to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), those freshman lawmakers are about to get their wish. Cantor has promised to set an upcoming vote on a full repeal of the health reform law, tweeting that “it just keeps getting worse”:
It just keeps getting worse. I am scheduling a vote for next week on the full repeal of #Obamacare.
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) May 8, 2013
Next week’s vote will mark the first vote on full Obamacare repeal so far this year. But it’s hardly the first ill-fated effort to repeal the law. The 112th Congress voted over 30 times to get rid of Obamacare, ultimately wasting about 88 hours and $50 million in taxpayer money in their efforts to deny health care to 30 million Americans.
It’s not exactly clear which aspect of the health reform law inspired Cantor’s assertion that it’s “getting worse.” There have been some recent claims that Obamacare’s implementation has been a “train wreck,” but those criticisms are largely overblown. In fact, the bulk of the health reform law’s provision have already taken effect, and have successfully improved coverage for millions of Americans. The rest of the Obama administration’s implementation efforts will focus on the 10 to 15 percent of Americans who remain uninsured, who will soon be able to gain health coverage through state-level insurance markets in 2014.
Partly thanks to the ongoing political battles over Obamacare, many Americans remain confused about whether it’s still law or whether Republicans have successfully been able to repeal it. Twelve percent of the population incorrectly believes Congress has already managed to dismantle the health reform law.