And now the stage for the inevitable Obama veto and the potential Republican retaking of the White House eleven months from now, after which repeal can actually happen, has been set:
With Republicans openly welcoming a preordained veto, the Senate on Thursday approved legislation aimed at crippling Barack Obama's health care law and Planned Parenthood.
With a House rubber stamp expected in days, the bill would be the first to reach Obama's desk demolishing his 2010 health care overhaul, one of his proudest domestic achievements, and halting federal payments to Planned Parenthood. Congress has voted dozens of times to repeal or weaken the health law and repeatedly against Planned Parenthood's funding, but until now Democrats thwarted Republicans from shipping the legislation to the White House.
Thursday's vote was a near party-line 52-47.
Republicans said an Obama veto — which the White House has promised — will underscore that a GOP triumph in next year's presidential and congressional elections would mean repeal of a statute [responsible] for surging medical costs and insurers abandoning some markets. They lack the two-thirds House and Senate majorities needed to override vetoes, assuring that the bill's chief purpose will be for campaign talking points.
Which is the whole point of the bill and the biggest advantage of controlling Congress during a time of divided government. There's a reason why Congress's enumerated powers are set forth first in the U.S. Constitution in Article I: Congress is supposed to be the strongest (NOT "co-equal") of the three branches of the federal government, and that is because the States and the people, originally represented in the Senate and House respectively, are supposed to be preeminent over the federal government as a whole. Consequently, the national agenda is supposed to be set by Congress, not the president.
In 2009 and 2010, the Democrats controlled both, and brother, did they ever set that agenda - or, rather, their Agenda - and ObamaCare was the most prominent and disastrous result. Now that the GOP is setting the agenda, ObamaCare is headed for the waste extractor. Sure, The One will veto it, but if you believe that he'll be gone in thirteen months and change, then the hope exists that the last piece of the policy-enactment puzzle will be within our grasp next November, after which the will of the people, expressed consistently if diffidently (i.e. Why isn't Mitt Romney POTUS today?), can finally be done. And if the public has decided that they want O-Care left in place, then this presents them with that stark choice and they'll be choosing healthcare perdition with their eyes wide open.
In the mean time, enjoy and behold the long-overdue GOP end zone celebrations:
Republicans touted their Senate victory Thursday in passing a bill to reverse key provisions of the [Una]ffordable Care Act, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz calling it "a significant step towards repealing every word of ObamaCare."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a speech from the Senate floor called the 52-47 vote "a victory for the middle class families who’ve endured this law’s pain for too long."
"Americans have suffered in their medical choices, the affordability of their care, the availability of their doctors and hospitals and insurance plans they wanted to keep," McConnell said.
He called the vote a means "to build a bridge away from ObamaCare and toward better care."...
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said as much in his response.
"If the president refuses and instead vetoes this bill, our repeal is a marker for what a Republican Congress again will pass in 2017 under an administration that is willing to admit the harm done by ObamaCare," Johnson said.
Johnson cited higher costs, canceled policies, lost doctors and fewer choices for care.
"Today, Senate Republicans fulfilled our promise to end the negative consequences of ObamaCare by repealing the president’s unaffordable health law," said Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. "It's now time the Obama administration and Democrats own up to the law’s failures, reverse course, and work with Republicans to forge patient-centered reforms that reduce costs and improve care for the American people."
"While the president will likely veto the bill and prioritize his own legacy over the well-being of American families, this debate is far from over," said South Dakota Senator John Thune. "Republicans will not back down from the fight to help the individuals, families, and businesses hurt by ObamaCare."
Utah Senator Mike Lee said the bill doesn’t just "tinker around ObamaCare’s edges," but lays the groundwork for it to be "erased from the books altogether."
"ObamaCare is a complete failure," added Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.
Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe noted that the bill also defunds Planned Parenthood, after a series of undercover videos showed what appeared to be Planned Parenthood officials admitting they sold aborted fetal parts for research.
The best Democrat whine was from retiring Senate Minority Leader "Dirty" Harry (G)Reid:
"Do they talk to their constituents? Do they meet with them?" Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, said of Republicans.
Oh, you mean like the way you Democrats six years ago met (for awhile) with your constituents who kept telling you what you didn't want to hear, after which you ignored them and shoved ObamaCare down their throats in the most corrupt, tyrannical way imaginable?
I'd highly advise you not to go there, Senator Pencilneck.
One more thing: NOW do you see, my Tea Party friends, what the GOP can do when it is united?