If at first you don't succeed...
The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law on Thursday in a symbolic move aimed as much at healing internal Republican rifts as demonstrating dogged party opposition to "Obamacare."
"No matter what, Americans will not want a politicized agency to have access to their most personal, intimate health care information or be in charge of important health care decisions," Bachmann said.
The 229-195 vote occurred largely along party lines and marked the 37th time the House has voted to repeal or defund the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is now in the final months before full implementation on January 1. Like previous attempts to dismantle the law, the measure will likely go nowhere in the Democratic-run Senate.
For Republicans, who hope to make Obamacare a winning campaign issue in the 2014 congressional midterm elections, the action gave House freshmen their first chance to vote against a law that is unpopular with a large number of voters, particularly conservatives in their districts back home.
"A full repeal is needed to keep this law from doing more damage to our economy and raising health care costs," said House Speaker John Boehner at a press conference alongside a seven-foot, three-inch tall stack of paper labeled "Obama Regulations @theredtapetower".
Democrats poked fun at the latest repeal vote.
"Apparently, the Republicans are opposed to Obamacare," said Representative Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat. "I know that comes as a shock to America, so we need to tell them one more time. Or 37 times, or maybe a 38th or a 39th or a 40th or a 100th time."
The repeal measure was authored by Representative Michele Bachmann, former Republican presidential candidate and Tea Party leader, who sought to link healthcare reform to an Internal Revenue Service scandal that is threatening to undermine Obama's second-term agenda.
Democrats may whine and complain about the vote to repeal Obamacare being a waste of time, but the GOP rank and file knows where their bread is buttered and voting once again to get rid of the ACA solidifies their support among the base of the party.
Besides, you can never go on record often enough stating your opposition to a law that will so fundamentally impact the lives of Americans. Once most people are exposed to what this law really does - with thier insurance policies, the quality of care, and the rise in taxes - many voters are going to start wondering why the Democrats didn't join Republicans in ridding this country of a bad law in the first place.