ObamaCare repeal test vote: Just four Democrats side with GOP

posted at 4:26 pm on January 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

This wasn’t the vote on the final bill (that comes Wednesday), merely the vote to proceed to consideration of it, but it’s still significant as a barometer of how many Dems might be willing to defect next week. Result: 236-181, with just four Blue Dogs joining Republicans in the majority. How can that be, you ask, when 34 Dems voted no on ObamaCare back in March? Well, remember, most of that herd of 34 was culled by voters in November, leaving just 13 survivors to vote on this bill. (There’s one “achievement” you won’t hear Pelosi boast about.) And of those 13, most are now in a position where they have more to fear from angry liberals challenging them in a primary than from conservatives coming after them in the general. The Daily Caller explains:

So far, only two House Democrats who voted against the health-care bill in March have said they’ll support the full repeal: Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas and Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma. A few others are uncommitted and could end up voting for repeal.

The political calculus for many of these House Democrats is fairly simple. First, they are now in a general election cycle where more voters will participate in their primary election because of the president’s presence on the ballot.

Obama’s base support will also bring more young and minority voters to the polls who will be sympathetic to the kind of political attack ad that could be run against House Democrats in a primary challenge, hitting them for opposing the parts of the bill that make for political hay.

“Voting for repeal opens the door to a primary challenge from their left. And while they may win it, it’s something they don’t want to have to deal with,” said a senior House Democratic leadership aide.

Ross and Boren were two of the four Dems who voted yes today; the others were Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre. All four voted no back in March, and all four had a surprisingly easy time against the GOP in the general election last November notwithstanding the big red wave breaking across the country. Boren won by 13 points, Ross by 17, Kissell by nine, and McIntyre by eight. The thinking here, I assume, is that liberals won’t risk challenging southern Democrats who seem to have a lock on their seats; they’re too rare and valuable these days. If they’re going to go after someone, better to go after a Jason Altmire who won with only 51 percent in November and could have another tough run ahead in 2012. Liberals could knock him out in the primary and then, with Obama base voters turning out in the general, win back the seat with a more liberal Democratic nominee. No wonder, then, that Altmire voted no today after voting no on O-Care back in March whereas Boren et al. felt comfortable sticking it to the left by voting yes on repeal.

The new line from vulnerable Blue Dogs (including Joe Manchin) is that they’ll vote to repeal the bad parts of the bill but not the whole thing. Which is a neat trick, since retaining the good parts — like the coverage for people with preexisting conditions — while jettisoning the bad parts that pay for it — like the mandate — would produce a total clusterfark of unintended economic consequences. But then, the “repeal some but not all” position isn’t a serious policy idea, it’s a cop out by centrist Dems looking to please liberals and conservatives at the same time. And in fairness, it might work: Not only is the country roughly evenly split on repeal, but as Geraghty notes, there’s a surprisingly large contingent within each party that breaks from the party line about the law. Among Dems, just 64 percent want to keep it while 24 percent support repeal. With ambiguity like that, a squishy straddle has its appeal.

As companion reading, check out the memo from CBO that Philip Klein obtained showing that repeal would save $540 billion in spending. In reality, it would save a lot more than that given that the figures provided to CBO by Democrats have been gamed since the beginning to lowball the cost of ObamaCare over the first 10 years. If you believe there’s only $540 billion to be saved here, then you also believe that ObamaCare is a long-term revenue generator. And absolutely no one believes that. Except Nancy.


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I don’t care how many Dems vote for it, I just want it sent up the Senate.

RarestRX on January 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Test vote, let’s see what happens when the real thing comes up. The smoking remains of November are still wafting through Congress, and 2012 comes soon.

Bishop on January 7, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Reid doesn’t dare let the senate vote on repeal; There might be too many defections.

Skandia Recluse on January 7, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Well, remember, most of that herd of 34 was culled by voters in November, leaving just 13 survivors to vote on this bill.

way to go Nancy, g’head, blame bush on that one!

ted c on January 7, 2011 at 4:33 PM

“Let’s take the example of something like diabetes” said Obooba, “a disease that’s skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it’s not treated as effectively as it could be.

“Right now… if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they’re taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that’s 30,000, 40, 50,000 dollars immediately the surgeon is reimbursed.

“Well, why not make sure that we’re also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation. Right? That will save us money,” said Obooba.

Akzed on January 7, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Wait a minute. Wasn’t it just yesterday the CBO said repeal would INCREASE costs by $230 billion over 10 years. How do they square that with saving $540 billion?

Dee2008 on January 7, 2011 at 4:36 PM

The next vote will seal the fate of many democrats in 2012. In a way I hope they vote no. Of course realistically I’d love to see enough members cross over to make Harry keel over.

darwin on January 7, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Akzed on January 7, 2011 at 4:34 PM

This is exactly the cause of skyrocketing medical bills:

“In fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation,” sais ACS, which is care that includes evaluation of the patient the day of the operation and follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation.

So, if Medicare only reimburses about $1,000 for the procedure, and the thing costs $30,000 or more. Who do they think is paying for the rest of that?

We are, who aren’t on medicare. We suck up the rest of the cost, because things cost what they cost. If one person pays less, someone else has to pay more.

It’s so obvious. I just don’t get why people can’t see that the government is the reason behind skyrocketing medical bills for those who, you know, actually have to pay them.

lorien1973 on January 7, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Wait a minute. Wasn’t it just yesterday the CBO said repeal would INCREASE costs by $230 billion over 10 years. How do they square that with saving $540 billion?

They said it would increase the *deficit* by $230 billion. $770 billion in revenue lost, $540 billion in spending lost.

Allahpundit on January 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Well, remember, most of that herd of 34 was culled by voters in November, leaving just 13 survivors to vote on this bill.

They’ll get voted off the island next election.

CBS -Survivor:Congress

portlandon on January 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Send it to dingy Harrah—Let the people watch his stall tactics…

OmahaConservative on January 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM

The country isn’t evenly split, the polling was skewed towards democraps once again. If seventy four percent of democraps (that means 8 percent of the electorate) is against Obamacare. With eighty percent of the 29 percent of the electorate constituting republicans that equals 24 percent of the US pop. against Obamacare. So off the bat 32 percent is against Obamacare. So to get to the alleged 45 percent allegedly against Obamacare, independents who constitute 38 percent of the electorate, would have to favor Obamacare by 2/3 to one third (thirteen percent against Obamacare, 26 percent in favor). That is insane as proven by the last election. In fact independents trend against Obamacare like republicans, so it is likely that had polling been done correctly at least 70 percent would be against Obamacare, or 23 percent of the polled. That would give 55 percent of the polled being in favor of repeal, which is consistent with truthful polls of the people and with the results of the last election. Thus, this screwy poll is seeking to propagandize against repeal of Obamacare, and to mislead Americans into thinking the program is more popular than it really is. And conservative websites who buy that hogwash ought to sign on with Nancy Pelousy and Obama, cause they aren’t serving their readers well.

eaglewingz08 on January 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

So on third third day of the session, AP’s numbers suggest that 18 House members are already out of the building/not voting? Too long a wait for their next recess, I guess.

But it only takes a majority to send this to the Senate, Right?

If at first those with sense in Congress don’t succeed, they’d damn well better take the vote again the following week, and every week thereafter until this gets to Osama Obama.

MrScribbler on January 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Except Nancy.

“you’re welcome,” she quips.

ted c on January 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Well, remember, most of that herd of 34 was culled by voters in November, leaving just 13 survivors to vote on this bill.

We got the sick, lame and lazy this year. In 2012, we’ll get some solid beef.

BobMbx on January 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

portlandon on January 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

That’s because we need the USA to be the Survivor!

INC on January 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

$770 billion in revenue TAX INCREASES lost, $540 billion in spending lost.

Allahpundit on January 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

El_Terrible on January 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM

I bet there’s a boatload of democrats that really, really, really want to vote to repeal. That would take one huge issue off the table for them come 2012.

darwin on January 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Check-Mate!

will sass u on January 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

check out the memo from CBO that Philip Klein obtained showing that repeal would save $540 billion in spending

ah, the best and the brightest.

CBO anticipates that enacting H.R. 2 would probably yield, for the 2012-2021 period, a reduction in revenues in the neighborhood of $770 billion and a reduction in outlays in the vicinity of $540 billion,

so, repeal would still cost $230 billion. what’s the point of reporting the the reduction in spending without mentioning that revenues would decrease by even more?

sesquipedalian on January 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Pass it and send it to the Senate. If the Dems refuse to bring it to a vote in the Senate, they own it again. Keep doing this till it passes.

samuelrylander on January 7, 2011 at 4:49 PM

allah oughta crib that photo with the jacket Button-gate that Ed used for the OOTD this am for use on threads like this….heh

ted c on January 7, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Pass it and send it to the Senate. If the Dems refuse to bring it to a vote in the Senate, they own it again. Keep doing this till it passes.

samuelrylander on January 7, 2011 at 4:49 PM

heh. make ‘em eat the crap sandwich from the other end.

ted c on January 7, 2011 at 4:49 PM

It’s a start…

… By the way, if you want to see a keeewwwlll website,

Check this out!

Seven Percent Solution on January 7, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Make these commies take a stand….yes, you support Obamacare or no you don’t. I have had it with these pols straddling the fence and talking outta both sides of their pie holes.

search4truth on January 7, 2011 at 4:51 PM

hmmm – 4 Democrats? I believe that makes it “bi-partisan support for repeal of Obamacare!”

tmedlin on January 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM

AP you will never be successful using the Gallup Organization to support arguments about anything.

Jdripper on January 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM

CBO’s numbers seem rather static. How do they come up with such figures, unless they are taking into account current spending and taxation levels as the norm. It seems, depending on where the numbers are coming from, it like predicting either global warming or cooling, the realities are not adding up.

Kini on January 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM

so, repeal would still cost $230 billion. what’s the point of reporting the the reduction in spending without mentioning that revenues would decrease by even more?

sesquipedalian on January 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Government should be funded by penalizing people for things that are not really a crime.

lorien1973 on January 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Seven Percent…thanks for the link.

I love the one about “Not Bailing out the States”

whatever will Jerry Brown do now! I think it ironic that the one who brought the Unions into CA now has to clean up the mess….no

will sass u on January 7, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Wait a minute. Wasn’t it just yesterday the CBO said repeal would INCREASE costs by $230 billion over 10 years. How do they square that with saving $540 billion?

Dee2008 on January 7, 2011 at 4:36 PM

This is govt math. The same math that says porkulus saved millions and millions of jobs.

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Just four…

How many Republicans voted FOR the obamanation?

lsheldon on January 7, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I doubt any democrat is going to show their hand until it actually matters. These peoples jobs are at stake and many of them on the D side are negotiating a tightrope held taught by both sides of their coalitions.

I expect that the vote will be just shy of fillibuster-proof in order to pressure democrats in the senate. This deal could be brokered easily. They all know how unpopular this clusterfark has turned out to be.

I don’t think Reid will let this bill come to the floor in the senate, because he doesn’t want to risk Obama having to veto it before an election. He knows the GOP will turn around a send another bill demanding repeal if Obama veto’s the first one, perhaps even attached to the debt limit.

Democrats painted themselves into a corner I think. The public dare by Reid and the journolistastic interviews over the last week could back-fire on Liberals.

Mord on January 7, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I love it when a plan comes together.

tommer74 on January 7, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Even if (yeah, I know, IF) the Senate votes this down, the House needs to send it back every month, over and over and over again. BRING.IT.OWN.DINGY!

sicoit on January 7, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I had an idea recently about how to fight the mandate. How about adding a tax credit of $2000 (or whatever the fine is for not getting insurance) and allowing anyone who is fined $2000 to take the credit.

Create some CBO mumbo jumbo score that says this will lower the deficit and then it can be passed by reconciliation. And if in 2013 there is a GOP prez and a house/senate both in gop hands, pass this item and you’ve essentially killed the mandate.

Thoughts?

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Alternate headling: Obamacare Repeal Gathers Bipartisan Support in House

malclave on January 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

And here the camera has caught a typical daily drama of survial of the fittest on Congressional Island…

*Animal Planet voice over*

While the pitifully few remaining Blue Dogs shuffle nervously around sniffing at the campaign fund carcass, Harry and Nancy, the self-promoting Alpha Male and Alpha female of the savannah hyena’s bare their fangs and savagely guard their kill.

Meanwhile, a band of adolescent rogue elephants stomp menacingly in the background. Blocking the Blue Dogs only escape route.

The stakes are high. On Congressional Island, if the Blue Dogs cannot reach the life-giving carcass of campaign funds, they will starve within a single election cycle…unless they can find a way around the notoriously unpredictable elephants to another carcass. In this fiscal year of financial drought, things do not look good for the Blue Dogs. But such is life and death on Congressional Island.

Lily on January 7, 2011 at 5:13 PM

This is govt math. The same math that says porkulus saved millions and millions of jobs.

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM

But it did!

You wingnuts just ignore the 51st through 57th states, and the benefits they received from the stimulus.

malclave on January 7, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Alternate headling: Obamacare Repeal Gathers Bipartisan Support in House

malclave on January 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Very nice. :)

Fallon on January 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I just loves me some Rep. Paul Ryan. This guy knows his stuff.

On the Mark Levin Show, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) addresses the phony numbers pushed through the Congressional Budget Office:

“Whatever you put in CBO — in front of them — they have to score what you put in front of them. They put this health care, we put the health care bill in front of them; the health care bill is full of gimmicks and spending tricks. Ten years of tax increases to pay for six years of spending, for starters. They double-count revenue for Social Security. They double-count revenue for this new CLASS Act program. They double-count Medicare cuts. They ignore the ‘doc fix.’ They did not include the $115 billion in spending that would be required just to set the bureaucracy up to run this new program.
“If you take out all the double-counting — if you add the counting they didn’t count — it adds a $701 billion deficit. So, what CBO cannot do is tell you ‘we’re not going to count the budget gimmicks that are in this legislation.’ They just have to estimate the bill as it’s written, with all the gimmicks included. So, people around here know how to write legislation to manipulate the kind of cost estimate you’re gonna get from the Congressional Budget Office. I sent a letter to the CBO, I asked them ‘Well, now look at these budget gimmicks, ignore these budget gimmicks. What then?’ And it’s what I just told you, this thing is a huge budget-buster. So, what they have is a piece of paper that they’ve manipulated to say this thing reduces the deficit.
“I will eat my tie if that is the outcome of this law.”

http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2011/01/paul-ryan-promi.html#comments

sicoit on January 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

But it did!

You wingnuts just ignore the 51st through 57th states, and the benefits they received from the stimulus.

malclave on January 7, 2011 at 5:14 PM


Not to mention the 440 congressional districts that were created by the stimulus where all the jobs were created
.

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Thoughts?

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

The problem with doing something underhanded is…..someone might see it!

Seriously though, Reid controls what gets to be put up for vote in the senate. Why would he even allow something like that? Unless I am wrong and reconcilliation is a house procedure, I thought it was senate.

Mord on January 7, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Mord on January 7, 2011 at 5:19 PM

No I mean do this in 2013 if (big if I know) the senate is controlled by Republicans along with the WH. Stand alone bill that could pass without needing 60 votes via reconciliation. Dems passed O-care that way, Reps could easily kill it the same way.

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

2% of Democratic representatives vote in favor of repeal, but 24% of Democrats favor repeal. Those voting against must not have very many of the 24% in their districts, or they just don’t give a darn.

unclesmrgol on January 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Ok… $540 billion isn’t chump change…. but it’s still only a small fraction of where they need to be…..

CynicalOptimist on January 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM

REPEAL IT!

GarandFan on January 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM

2% of Democratic representatives vote in favor of repeal, but 24% of Democrats favor repeal. Those voting against must not have very many of the 24% in their districts, or they just don’t give a darn.

unclesmrgol on January 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

95% of Dems left in Congress are in gerrymandered districts that assure them a win no matter how they vote on any issue.

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Not to mention the 440 congressional districts that were created by the stimulus where all the jobs were created.

angryed on January 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I just sent a note to Mr. Speaker and asked him to look into it…

Seven Percent Solution on January 7, 2011 at 5:56 PM

95% of Dems left in Congress are in gerrymandered districts that assure them a win no matter how they vote on any issue.

+1

SunSword on January 7, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Keep the heat on…the dems have their fingers in the wind, but they may be suprised what is on that finger when they take a look at it…We CAN make them cave. They’re afraid, very afraid!
The right PACs need our support. I wish I hadn’t been driving (Cuz I could have written down who it was) when I heard Beck say today that one group is planning to totally get in their faces saying, essentially, “We know you voted for it, but we’re willing to NOT work against you (which isn’t the same as saying we’re willing to work FOR for you) if you vote to kill it. If not? Well, we’ll have your head on a stick and will pull out every stop we can to defeat you in ’12.”

Chewy the Lab on January 7, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Repeal! Repeal! Repeal! And if it fails, repeal and repeal again!

JellyToast on January 7, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Besides, I’m trying to figure out why this is bad news on the third day of them taking over in the House? They have the votes to repeal it in the House, that’s all that matters. Sure, the Senate is a different matter, but we just had a good test vote. If Democrats want to fight for a loser bill that America hates, than more Democrats may lose their seats in 2012!

JellyToast on January 7, 2011 at 6:41 PM

95% of Dems left in Congress are in gerrymandered districts that assure them a win no matter how they vote on any issue.
+1

SunSword on January 7, 2011 at 5:57 PM

True, but don’t the Republicans get to re-draw the lines this year? Things could look verrrrrrrry different for 2012, could they not?

capejasmine on January 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Did you know that Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, Rahm’s brother, is leaving the administration this week, too? Zeke is the one who was instrumental in the ideas of spending more health-care dollars for those young enough to benefit society the most. Believe it or not, he is headed back to his position in the NIH as a bioethicist.

onlineanalyst on January 7, 2011 at 6:44 PM

And absolutely no one believes that. Except Nancy.

The witch with the plastic smile has always been delusional.

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Well, I note that my Blue [censored] Dog rep, Gabrielle I live in Texas but Represent Tucson Giffords wasn’t one of the four. … and she just barely survived her election — if not for fraud and astroturfing, she’d have lost.

/color me surprised.

AZfederalist on January 7, 2011 at 8:03 PM

It only saves half a trillion? Buh… buh… but reading the Constitution cost a million whole dollars right.

Mojave Mark on January 7, 2011 at 8:06 PM

ObamaCare repeal test vote: Just four Democrats side with GOP

As I recall the standard, that makes this vote 4 times as bipartisan as Obamacare

didymus on January 7, 2011 at 10:08 PM

The reason that the dems say that a repeal would cost us millions is because the dems were counting on the tax money the healthcare would implement. The fools spent the money before it existed.

mixplix on January 8, 2011 at 8:35 AM