Congress Healthcare War On Women

Senate Republicans Will Move Ahead on Repealing Obamacare, Defunding Planned Parenthood

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Tis the season to kick millions of people off their healthcare.

Senate Republicans already planned to use reconciliation to bypass a filibuster and vote on the House bill to repeal Obamacare, but it wasn't clear if they could use reconciliation to defund Planned Parenthood.

The Senate Parliamentarian has now told Senate Republicans that using reconciliation to defund Planned Parenthood is permitted under Senate rules.

"Today the Senate Parliamentarian advised us that [the House] ObamaCare repeal bill can proceed under the rules of reconciliation,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“The Parliamentarian also confirmed that the restrictions on payments to certain health care providers in section 201 of the House bill can be accomplished consistent with the Byrd rule,” Stewart added, referring to language defunding Planned Parenthood.

Given that President Obama obviously won't sign this into law, I feel like we should thank congressional Republicans for writing their own attack ads.

How will GOP presidential candidates Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz vote? Will they go on record voting in a favor of kicking millions of people off their healthcare? Doing so may polish their conservative bona fides among GOP primary voters, but everything the GOP does today will become an issue in the general election.

I say with complete confidence that there's no way America will elect a Republican running on a platform of repealing Obamacare. Anyone who tries to do so will find themselves campaigning against the man himself as the president will not stand by and let it happen. He doesn't have to be on the ticket to become a major force in the election.

Republicans may have fooled themselves into thinking the president is a great liability to Democrats, but they couldn't be more wrong.

Obamacare isn't the only healthcare policy the GOP will run against in 2016. We can expect to see them run against Medicaid and Medicare as well. Also living wages, regulations, education, voting rights, civil rights, immigrants, black people, and anyone who isn't straight, white, and rich.

  • Victor the Crab

    I say with complete confidence that there’s no way America will elect a Republican running on a platform of repealing Obamacare. Anyone who tries to do so will find themselves campaigning against the man himself as the president will not stand by and let it happen. He doesn’t have to be on the ticket to become a major force in the election.

    Never, ever, ever underestimate the stupidity of the American voter. They are capable of voting against their better interest, no matter how successful a program, like Obamacare, is. See Kentucky as an example.

  • muselet

    Some Senate sources questioned whether the Planned Parenthood language qualified because the chief motivation behind it seemed to be to halt federal funding to the group instead of to reduce the deficit.

    Not to be too inarticulate, but duh.

    The federal deficit is somewhere in the region of $425 billion, while Planned Parenthood received $528 million. According to my calculator, Planned Parenthood accounts directly for 0.124% of the deficit. Not much more than a rounding error, in other words.

    Yes, that would represent a reduction in the federal deficit, but an utterly trivial one. It takes some spectacularly convoluted thinking to conclude that defunding Planned Parenthood has anything at all to do with the deficit.

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      I believe this was a case of the working the refs. They started complaining about the parliamentarian a couple weeks ago. Ted Cruz even talked about firing her if she said they can’t use reconciliation to defund Planned Parenthood.

      • muselet

        Probably so, and Elizabeth MacDonough unsurprisingly didn’t want to have happen to her what happened to Robert Dove.

        It’s disappointing, is all.

        –alopecia