For months, the right wing has declared the death of “ObamaCare,” promising that comprehensive health care reform was doomed. Reasons for the putative demise included the election of Republican governors in New Jersey and Virginia, the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), and the group of anti-abortion Democrats in the House led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI). Up until last Friday, the Republican House leadership — Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) — were guaranteeing health care reform could not pass:
– Dick Morris, Fox News commentator, November 4: “A deathblow to ObamaCare.”
— Fred Barnes, Fox News commentator, January 20: “The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection.”
— Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute, January 26: “That’s why Obamacare is dead.”
— Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Minority Whip, February 24: “Speaker Pelosi doesn’t have the votes in the House. . . . It is futile for for them to continue to try and push something on the American people that frankly won’t result in better health care.”
— Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), March 3: “I think the votes are not there and I don’t see where we get them.”
— Cantor, March 5: “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the votes needed to pass a health-care bill in the House of Representatives.”
— Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Minority Leader, March 14: “If she had 216 votes, this bill would be long gone. They tried to pass it in September, October, November, December, January, February. Guess what? They don’t have the votes.”
— Boehner, March 17: Health care reform will pass “over my dead body.”
— Cantor, March 19: “[T]here’s no way they can pass this bill.”
Despite the bluster, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Obama successfully shepherded health care reform through the House by a 219-212 vote, liberal and conservative Democrats standing together to give 32 million more Americans health insurance. Just as the attacks of “death panels, “socialism,” and “tyranny” were flimsy lies, the predictions that President Obama’s health care agenda was dead were tissue-paper threats. Even after George W. Bush is gone, conservatives continue to be all hat and no cattle.
On Feb. 24, 2010, Cantor went on MSNBC to repeatedly boast that Pelosi didn’t have the votes to pass health care reform. Watch a compilation of that appearance:
,The Huffington Post has a round-up of other Republicans who predicted health reform’s death.