Friday, January 8, 2016

ObamaCare  May Be Headed for History’s Dustbin and Boneyard
A WSJ editorial yesterday opined that ObamaCare is headed for history’s dustbin and boneyard (“A Victory over ObamaCare.”)  The editors said this on the basis on a   straightline GOP   240-181 House vote  on a bill that sent a replacement bill to the President’s desk, where the President promptly  vetoed it.  “ “The 2016 election”,  said the WSJ, “is all stands between ObamaCare and history’s dustbin.” 

The bill combines House and Senate versions of the Replacement bill.
After more than 60 previous repeal votes in the House, which  died in the Senate, Republicans  accomplished this replacement vote  by using a special “ reconciliation “ process that allowed a budget bill to pass with a simple majority – which can only be used once a year -  to  bypass former Senator leader Harry Reid’s “boneyard,” which consisted of the threat of death of a bill by filibuster.
Dustbin” is an English term.   It was also called an “Ash Heap,” a place where you deposited  coal ashes. The American meaning of “dustbin” is “garbage.”  Dustbin has come to mean any persons, events, and ideologies that have lost currency and value as history.  
“Boneyard” is a cemetery,  where bones the last remains of animals or humans are buried.  In this case,  boneyard”  refers to the bills Democratic Senator Harry Reid  let die  to avoid a vote that might harm the President.  No bones about it,  the Senate floor is full of dead bill’s bones from the House that never made it to the Senate floor.
 The House  vote of  240 to 181 to pass the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act” followed  a Senate vote for passage of 52 to 47 in December.

The Congress, under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House  Speaker Paul Ryan  navigated the lengthy and complex “reconciliation” process to pass legislation through both chambers.   The bill  rescinds the mandates and taxes at the heart of the law.   Obama  has vetoed  the bill, but the next President,  if  he is a Republican,   will sign the legislation.

Nearly six years after passage, the health law remains unpopular because of sharp premium increases, disruptions in coverage, lost jobs and work hours, 20 new and higher taxes, and costly mandates on individuals and businesses.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates today’s repeal bill would reduce  the federal budget deficit by $516 billion over 10 years. The bill also would defund Planned Parenthood. The House version repealed only a handful of the health care law’s major provisions, while the Senate version canceled out many more, including ACA’s Medicaid expansion and several more  health care taxes
This replacement is an important achievement that also serves as a test for what can be actually repealed under the reconciliation process with a new president who would sign rather than veto the legislation.

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price explained that the vote, “…fulfills our responsibility to represent our constituents, and recognize what they know and that is that this law is not only harming the health of so many Americans in many, many ways across this country but the health our of economy. So what we will do is put this bill on the president’s desk that will repeal Obamacare, and will let the president then say whether or not he stands with the American people or whether he’s getting in the way of positive solutions.”

This vote sets the stage for next year for a Republican President  to sign the legislation.  

 If Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency or  Democrats take the Senate,  all bets are off.

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