Obama vetoes ObamaCare repeal … quietly

posted at 3:21 pm on January 8, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Missed opportunity — or a tacit admission of political vulnerability? When Paul Ryan sent the ObamaCare repeal bill to Barack Obama, he held a public “enrollment” event to celebrate the accomplishment. Rather than return the favor, Roll Call reports that Obama opted to veto the bill with minimal publicity:

With little public fanfare, President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed a Republican-crafted measure designed to repeal his signature health care overhaul. But Republican leaders are signaling their repeal push is far from over.

In a statement, Obama said the health care overhaul “is working,” slamming the bill because it would “reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America.”

“The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered,” Obama added.

The measure’s quiet death stood in sharp contrast to the very loud and public debate that has characterized the president’s health care push from conception to adoption to implementation. It also would have defunded Planned Parenthood, which was the subject of its own partisan uproar last year.

Yes, it does stand in contrast, does it not? Obama keeps insisting that his signature legislative accomplishment is popular and has expanded access to health care. However, those stuck paying high premiums — even with tax subsidies — find that they are still paying retail for their health care, in some cases the first $5000 or more each year, thanks to skyrocketing deductibles. Let’s not overlook the fact that the New York Times sees this as enough of a trend to cover this week:

Administration officials said last month that about 2.5 million new customers had bought insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange serving 38 states, since open enrollment began on Nov. 1. The number of new enrollees is 29 percent higher than last year at this time, suggesting that the threat of a larger penalty may be motivating more people to get covered.

But plenty of healthy holdouts remain, and their resistance helps explain why insurers are worried about the financial viability of the exchanges over time. They say they sorely need more healthy customers to balance out the costs of covering the sicker, older people who have flocked to exchange plans.

People, like Mr. Murphy, who earn too much to qualify for federal subsidies that defray the cost of coverage may be most likely to opt out. A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than seven million people who are eligible for exchange coverage would pay less in penalties than for the least expensive insurance available to them. More than half would not qualify for subsidies, the analysis found.

If you spend $75 a month after subsidies for health insurance, as the White House claims for the average individual-market user, and end up with a Bronze Plan with an average deductible over $5000, then you have to spend $5900 in a year before getting anything covered other than wellness checks — which would have probably cost no more than $300-$400 retail anyway. For younger and healthier Americans, ObamaCare isn’t just a bad deal — it’s a huge redistribution of wealth from younger and less wealthy Americans to older and more wealthy Americans, whose premiums stay lower with more of the former in the risk pool.

No wonder Obama wants to keep his veto locking those people into exploitation as much on the down-low as possible. Too bad that Republicans took this long into forcing Obama to veto the repeal. Imagine how well this could have been used to reassure GOP voters that leadership wanted to keep the pressure on Obama all along.


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Comments

LOATHE

bernzright777 on January 8, 2016 at 3:25 PM

It’s repealing itself anyway….

sorrowen on January 8, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Wow. Who turned down the lights at the Kabuki Theater?

M240H on January 8, 2016 at 3:29 PM

It’s radioactive.

Ask Mitt Romney.

portlandon on January 8, 2016 at 3:30 PM

He must have been confused. The RINO house and senate just funded all of his wildest left wing dreams, next comes the Kabuki theater bill?
I could swear it was election season!

Exninja on January 8, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Doesn’t matter whether or not Obamacare gets repealed.

What’s important is the republicans get to pad their “conservative review” stats by voting to repeal it.

Magicjava on January 8, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Of course he vetoed it and the GOPe knew he would, because it was a stand alone bill.

Which was BY DESIGN.

dougmva on January 8, 2016 at 3:32 PM

He knows they just did it for show. Why give them more publicity?

He’s actually being politically astute, here.

makattak on January 8, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Everyone needs to back off. This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this. Would I rather they use to power of the purse and force a constitutional brawl? Yes. But this is a great precedent for them to follow one year from now with a Republican President.

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

And, of course – there is only one presidential candidate who has pledged to repeal obamacare …

Ted Cruz [email protected] 3h – “As President of the United States, I will repeal every word of #ObamaCare!”

Pork-Chop on January 8, 2016 at 3:35 PM

The RINO house and senate just funded all of his wildest left wing dreams, next comes the Kabuki theater bill?

Exninja on January 8, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Yep. Doesn’t work very well anymore, because we’re on to them.

LilyBart on January 8, 2016 at 3:35 PM

Everyone needs to back off. This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this. Would I rather they use to power of the purse and force a constitutional brawl? Yes. But this is a great precedent for them to follow one year from now with a Republican President.

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

This is a stat padding dog and pony show. Nothing more.

Magicjava on January 8, 2016 at 3:35 PM

The GOP doesn’t want to defund Obama”care” because they don’t want any complaints that the GOP took ‘government goodies’ away from people.

The GOP LOVES big government – they just want to be in charge of it!

LilyBart on January 8, 2016 at 3:37 PM

The number of new enrollees is 29 percent higher than last year at this time, suggesting that the threat of a larger penalty may be motivating more people to get covered.

Some serious parsing of the word “enrolled” going on there. That is the number of people who have logged on and picked a plan, not the number of people who have actually paid for anything. Sort of like putting something in your amazon.com shopping cart and leaving it there without completing the order.

Johnnyreb on January 8, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Ryan is a worthless charlatan.

obama is his pimp.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 PM

This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

It’s a joke, meant to pacify the rubes. We now know who the rubes are.

DFCtomm on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 PM

It’s repealing itself anyway….

sorrowen on January 8, 2016 at 3:27 PM

It was never intended to work for very long (and since government, particularly DC is great at NOT working at all it failed much faster than the design) but to fail and bring about single payer Commie”care”.

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 PM

You have it coming, soon, both sides.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 PM

McTurtle and Cmdr Riker to give us the “…settled law…” excuse in 5….4….3….2…

BobMbx on January 8, 2016 at 3:40 PM

slightly OT – most of the Texas GOPe delegation voted for that omnibus spending plan and are laying so low we can’t find them. One of them, Kevin Brady who I believe took Kevin McCarty’s place ventured on to a conservative radio show this morning and got his ass handed to him by Chris Salcedo, a fire breathing hispanic conservative.

When Brady tried to crow about congress sending Obama a bill to defund Obamacare and PP Salcedo gave it to him with both barrels. Anybody else seeing their local GOP reps? Hopefully primary opponents are lining up to take these liars out.

DanMan on January 8, 2016 at 3:40 PM

Ryan is more disgusting than obama at this stage.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2016 at 3:40 PM

It’s a joke, meant to pacify the rubes. We now know who the rubes are.

DFCtomm on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 PM

We “Neanderthals” who REFUSE to respect their “betters” and support ¡Jeb!’s BIRTHRIGHT to the nomination?

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Most in the Congress need to be cantorized.

Some in the Senate need to be daschled.

obama and Hillary need to be tried for treason.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Mathematics is what mathematics is. Even Democrat scum can’t change it.

ramesees on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Ryan is more disgusting than obama at this stage.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2016 at 3:40 PM

Ryan was growing out his beard to show his support for Obama’s islamization efforts.

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Sort of like putting something in your amazon.com shopping cart and leaving it there without completing the order.

Johnnyreb on January 8, 2016 at 3:38 PM

You can do that? What happens if you put ice cream in your cart and just walk away…?

BobMbx on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

I opted out this year. Facing premiums of more than $13.5K, plus an additional deductible of $6.5K per family member, and no prescription coverage until the deductible is met is too much for me to accept. I do not qualify for subsidies, but not by all that much, so that is too big of a chunk out of my budget.

This president is an effing liar, and an ignorant a@@hat. And those are his good points.

bobthm3 on January 8, 2016 at 3:42 PM

obama and Hillary need to be tried for treason.

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

So do McConnell and RY(a)NO

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 3:42 PM

Mathematics is what mathematics is. Even Democrat scum can’t change it.

ramesees on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Unemployment is under 5%

Global temperatures are increasing

ISIS is a JV squad

Bud, the govt does it every day.

BobMbx on January 8, 2016 at 3:43 PM

We “Neanderthals” who REFUSE to respect their “betters” and support ¡Jeb!’s BIRTHRIGHT to the nomination?

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM

No the rubes are the people that fell for it and are saying things like this is a good start. We now know who the naive are among us.

DFCtomm on January 8, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Everyone needs to back off. This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this. Would I rather they use to power of the purse and force a constitutional brawl? Yes. But this is a great precedent for them to follow one year from now with a Republican President.

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Put the crack pipe down and back slowly away from it. Go check yourself into rehab. This was always a all show and no go bill. The GOP Establishment want Obamacare every bit as much as Obama does, they just don’t want to pay at the election booth for admitting it.

You can get up on your hind legs and crow, when and only when the GOP Establishment overrules his veto. In other words… NEVER…

oscarwilde on January 8, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Everyone needs to back off. This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this. Would I rather they use to power of the purse and force a constitutional brawl? Yes. But this is a great precedent for them to follow one year from now with a Republican President.

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Keep dreaming. The GOP will betray you.

fossten on January 8, 2016 at 3:45 PM

Too bad that Republicans took this long into forcing Obama to veto the repeal. Imagine how well this could have been used to reassure GOP voters that leadership wanted to keep the pressure on Obama all along.

The only reason the GOP did this was because they’re trying to recover their credibility with conservative voters, who have bolted from their pre-approved candidates Bush and Rubio for Cruz and Trump.

Everyone needs to back off. This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this. Would I rather they use to power of the purse and force a constitutional brawl? Yes. But this is a great precedent for them to follow one year from now with a Republican President.

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

No Obamacare repeal bill will be sent to a Republican president’s desk, not under this GOP Congress. This was purely a symbolic move meant to try to recover some credibility and take wind out of Trump’s sails.

Doomberg on January 8, 2016 at 3:50 PM

they are still paying retail for their health care, in some cases the first $5000 or more each year

Yep, which defeats the point of “health insurance” as it’s currently priced. Because none of the 0bamaCare plans are catastrophic health plans.

GWB on January 8, 2016 at 3:52 PM

Mark my words! – libfree

22044 on January 8, 2016 at 3:54 PM

Keep dreaming. The GOP will betray you.

fossten on January 8, 2016 at 3:45 PM

my hunch is if he can’t see it in real time he won’t know it happened when they do it again

DanMan on January 8, 2016 at 3:55 PM

Obama vetoes ObamaCare repeal … quietly

Maybe Joe Biden forgot to tell him that this is a big f’ing deal?

DOOF on January 8, 2016 at 3:58 PM

Obama vetoes ObamaCare repeal … quietly

Missed opportunity — or a tacit admission of political vulnerability?

No, it’s stupidity writ large.

Ryan and McConnell had the power to force change in the omnibus spending bill. Instead they unilaterally surrendered giving Obama and the Democrats everything they wanted and nothing for the Republican voters.

Only now that they are powerless to drive change do Ryan and McConnell decide to put on a national Kabuki theatre failure when what the Republican Party most needs is a victory.

It’s those all too willing unilateral GOPe surrenders to the Democrats that is driving Trump’s success but they are too stupid to recognize such.

RJL on January 8, 2016 at 4:04 PM

This is all play acting…

… How soon people forget how the Democrats were dancing with glee over the Omnibus bill that funded everything Obama wanted, and more, including Obamacare for the next year.

This is the GOPe going through the motions to make it look like they oppose Obama, while the Donor Class runs the show…

… An act, to keep the masses occupied with “Look, they passed a bill!”, then come November, “Vote For Us!”.

Isn’t if funny that after seven years, SEVEN YEARS, this is the first and only attempt to stop anything Obama has wanted, and it is an election year to boot…?

I’m not buying it…

… This is the Political Elite Ruling Class pulling the wool over the tax payers eyes once again.

Seven Percent Solution on January 8, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Now I feel like I am being represented in the national government. Teh will of the people is being heard Mr. President. Your party better listen up.

jake49 on January 8, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Everyone needs to back off. This is good. It’s promising that the GOP House and Senate did this. Would I rather they use to power of the purse and force a constitutional brawl? Yes. But this is a great precedent for them to follow one year from now with a Republican President.

MikeRuss on January 8, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Mike, What will be different with a Republican President?

The Republican Congress will write legislation, the Senate Democrats will filibuster it while shouting that the extreme Republicans are forcing a government shutdown. The Republican Congress will promptly and unilaterally surrender as they have every time on every issue since they have controlled both the House and the Senate.

With that proven sure Republican surrender the new Republican President won’t even see the legislation let alone read it or sign it into law. So for the first time in history Republicans could control the Presidency, House and Senate while the Democrats are actually the ones in power and running the government.

RJL on January 8, 2016 at 4:17 PM

RJL on January 8, 2016 at 4:17 PM

This was passed via reconciliation. It couldn’t be filibustered.

INC on January 8, 2016 at 4:26 PM

Too bad that Republicans took this long into forcing Obama to veto the repeal. Imagine how well this could have been used to reassure GOP voters that leadership wanted to keep the pressure on Obama all along.

Ed, one need not require any further proof the GOPe only care about “GOP voters” in an election year, and then only very reluctantly, and not in any way that would affect actual policies.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 8, 2016 at 4:26 PM

Everything that needs to be said about this sham has been said.

IDontCair on January 8, 2016 at 4:28 PM

I have seen a whole bunch of new names this past week.

They had to have that many to replace davidk?

IDontCair on January 8, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Let us all recall November 2014. We had just delivered the senate to the GOP and picked up several more house seats the previous month. McConnell saw those new senators and knew he had to act and got Boehner to produce that ridiculous Cromnibus budget that was put together by Patty Murray and Paul Ryan.

Exactly one year later they came back and doubled down. Those new senators have fallen in line and the new tea party backed house members don’t have enough numbers to influence the house leadership but they do have enough to stop bills if the Hastert rule is used. So leadership served up the bill the dems wanted again and let them pass it.

We need to primary every member that voted for this mess. Pointing out the incumbent’s voting records should be enough to knock them out.

DanMan on January 8, 2016 at 4:31 PM

We need to primary every member that voted for this mess. Pointing out the incumbent’s voting records should be enough to knock them out.

DanMan on January 8, 2016 at 4:31 PM

I don’t give a Fluck if the GOP still controls the House or Senate after this year. They don’t DESERVE to based on their performance, because no one can tell a difference between them and Democrat control!

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 4:39 PM

no doubt Con but we either change the party back or start a new one. We did pick up some good house members in 2014 though. If we can Cantorize another 20 or so the house will be ours at least. Getting at least one branch of g’ment will help a lot and getting rid of Ryan is doable.

DanMan on January 8, 2016 at 4:53 PM

The one positive is that it ties support and vote for Obamacare around the necks of Congressional Democrats in 2016 elections. Some value in red and purple states.

Techster64 on January 8, 2016 at 5:31 PM

RJL on January 8, 2016 at 4:17 PM

This was passed via reconciliation. It couldn’t be filibustered.

INC on January 8, 2016 at 4:26 PM

INC, We aren’t connecting here.

In that post I write about future legislation that the Senate Democrats will filibuster with a new Republican President. None of that future legislation has yet been passed.

RJL on January 8, 2016 at 5:52 PM

It’s repealing itself anyway….

sorrowen on January 8, 2016 at 3:27 PM

It was never intended to work for very long (and since government, particularly DC is great at NOT working at all it failed much faster than the design) but to fail and bring about single payer Commie”care”.

ConstantineXI on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 PM

I get the chastisement heading Mike’s way. But I will quibble with some of your retorts. Whether they want to repeal ObamaCare or not, in 2017 it is going to change significantly because it doesn’t work, it is administratively impossible and financially unsound. The question – and no it won’t be single payer – is what silly aspects of Obamacare do they try to keep to provide political cover. I know it sounds like a dumb statement, but it is political reality. I have been working long enough in the health care field and the notion that we would go back to pre-obamacare policy is something the industry can’t get their minds around. I’d love it – along with block granting medicaid, which needs to happen tomorrow.

But Obamacare will be dead. The patient – Obamacare – has a terminal disease for which there is no cure. It will die in 2017, and no one can stop that.

Zomcon JEM on January 8, 2016 at 5:56 PM

.. significant progress we have made in improving health care in America.

Um… to which America are you referring?

Definite;y not the one I live in.

Oxymoron on January 8, 2016 at 7:00 PM

I have been working long enough in the health care field and the notion that we would go back to pre-obamacare policy is something the industry can’t get their minds around. I’d love it – along with block granting medicaid, which needs to happen tomorrow.

But Obamacare will be dead. The patient – Obamacare – has a terminal disease for which there is no cure. It will die in 2017, and no one can stop that.

Zomcon JEM on January 8, 2016 at 5:56 PM

I don’t want pre-Obamacare — I want something totally new and sane instead of the makeshift patchwork superstructure cobbled onto the shaky foundation of FDR-era employer-sponsored insurance.

Medical insurance should be like auto or life insurance.
Private, contractual, suited to your personal needs.

And the government shouldn’t force medical providers to do any more “guaranteed” care than life-preserving emergency intervention.
No more using the ER as an after-hours minor-care clinic for anybody.

AesopFan on January 8, 2016 at 7:46 PM

After it passed the house, Ryan should have declared it law without sending it to the president.

If Obama can make/change law without the legislative branch then why can’t they make law without the executive branch?

kurtzz3 on January 8, 2016 at 8:40 PM

McConnell and Ryan could have held a press conference. Suppose they did not want to embarrass their boss.

If the point was to show that the GOP was listening to voters, they needed some PR.

virgo on January 9, 2016 at 11:00 PM