Last night, the House voted to delay for one year the mandates in ObamaCare requiring employers to offer and individuals to have health insurance plans, or else pay the penalties. The White House and Democratic leadership were most displeased about the initiatives, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer objected that the whole thing was an entirely unnecessary and “purely partisan” political performance, on par with the House’s parade of repeal votes. Via RCP:
This bill and the other bill are not real. They are purely partisan politics. They have nothing to do with reality. That, my friends and Mr. Speaker, the American people ought to know that is the truth. These bills take time [on the House Floor] with no effect, and everybody in this House, the Majority Leader and 434 of the rest of us know these bills are going nowhere. … Isn’t it a shame when millions of Americans have no health care, when millions of Americans have no jobs, when people are being furloughed in the defense sector, undermining the security of our country in Virginia and in Maryland, undermining our national security, that we spend our time here on this Floor with ‘gotcha’ politics, with no expectation whatsoever that either of these bills will ever become law? This is simply messaging.
But… they weren’t purely partisan, were they? First of all, voting for or against bills that have no chance of making it through the neighboring chamber, even if it is just for the sake of political gamesmanship and messaging, isn’t necessarily a worthless exercise — especially when, by at least one tally, Americans favor a delay in the individual mandate by a whopping 56 versus 26 percent.
What’s more, even after the White House’s veto threat, 35 Democrats voted to bestow the White House with the proper authority to delay the employer mandate, and then a full 22 Democrats voted for the delay in the individual mandate as well. Hey, even if Republicans were just highlighting the poor politics of this law for a number of Democrats, that’s bipartisanship! Unlike, you know, when the entire health care law was passed without the vote of a single Republican. Awkward?