Senate Dems to Boehner: You shall not pass (ObamaCare repeal)!

Among the top priorities for the new Republican majority in the House will be the repeal of ObamaCare.  Speaker-to-be John Boehner has already scheduled a vote on a repeal bill, which is expected to pass handily, at the very least on party lines.  The leadership of the Senate Democratic Caucus has told Boehner not to bother:

Top Senate Democrats are warning House Speaker-elect John Boehner they’ll block any Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Citing better Medicare prescription coverage and other changes in the new law, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his top lieutenants say the overhaul “is too important to be treated as collateral damage in a partisan mission to repeal health care.”

Well, perhaps Reid and his cohorts Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Patty Murray should have considered making those changes incrementally rather than as part of a massive government reordering of the health-insurance industry. If those changes deserve support, then they could have received it without imposing mandates on states for coverage, mandates on insurance companies for enrollment, and mandates on individual citizens to carry insurance as a consequence of breathing.  Instead, they chose to pass it as a massive enterprise without much consideration of its consequences, which have been rolling out faster than even its staunchest critics predicted.

This is not an unexpected response, of course, but it’s a rather public dare.  By demanding that Boehner cease and desist, Reid is guaranteeing a fight over ObamaCare in the 112th session, which is probably unavoidable anyway.  That won’t play well for Democrats if it lasts through to 2012 and the next elections.  Democrats hope to have the GOP strangle itself in the difficult issues of budgeting and debt as a way to argue for their defense of 23 Senate seats in that election.  If Reid wants to make the next two years all about the same issue that dominated the last two years, Republicans might well end up with a filibuster-proof majority in 2013 as well as a stronger majority in the House.