That headline is not an exaggeration or a parody.
Just now, the House voted, one more time, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, by an almost straight-line party vote of 244-185, with every Republican voting for “full repeal” and all but five Democrats voting against it.
This vote came after a parade of Republicans went to the House floor today bashing Barack Obama, the Democrats, and the health law for cutting $500 billion from Medicare — one of their central attacks on Dems for two straight cycles now — despite supporting those very same cuts in their own budget, the Paul Ryan plan.
On top of this, they repeatedly claimed today — still! — that they intend to repeal and replace the bill, despite the continued absence of any replace bill, or even hearings to develop a replace bill, two years after campaigning on their “replace” pledge.
It’s one thing to keep making promises, even as you fail to keep them. Politicians, we know, do that all the time. It’s one thing to slam a program that your party and your party-aligned think tanks were in large part responsible for devising in the first place, a program that your presidential nominee passed when he was a governor. Hey, parties can change their minds.
But it really takes an astonishing amount of chutzpah to run against a spending cut in dozens of races across the country, to come to Congress and vote for that cut anyway, and then to continue to rail against it as though you still think it’s the worst thing Congress has ever inflicted on the American people. Even if they hadn’t voted for these exact cuts, it’s really impossible to square general GOP rhetoric about cutting spending, specifically on entitlements, with their insistence that every dollar that Obamacare cuts either through the Medicare Advantage cuts or from the Independent Payment Advisory Board is the end of the world for seniors.
Democrats are hoping to tie today’s vote back to the Paul Ryan plan.
“House Republicans began their Majority by voting to end Medicare for seniors, and they will end their Majority by voting once again to repeal critical patient protections for the middle class,” DCCC chair Steve Israel said in a statement. “The Republican record is clear and consistent: millionaires over Medicare, and insurance company profits over middle class patients.”
But Republicans will still continue to run on a pledge to fully repeal Obamacare — and on the Ryan plan. Republican ads will soon be airing across the country charging that Obamacare cuts Medicare — even though their Medicare plan contains the same cuts.