Boehner, McConnell: We’re Committed to Repealing Obamacare


It looks like Senator Ted Cruz will get the Obamacare repeal votes he recently called for.

In an op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal, Speaker of the House John Boehner and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say they will renew their “commitment to repealing Obamacare,” but if you read beyond that sound bite, it becomes less clear if that is their true intention.

Looking ahead to the next Congress, we will honor the voters’ trust by focusing, first, on jobs and the economy. Among other things, that means a renewed effort to debate and vote on the many bills that passed the Republican-led House in recent years with bipartisan support, but were never even brought to a vote by the Democratic Senate majority. It also means renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans’ health care.

Okay. They’re committed to repealing Obamacare.

Or are they?

These bills include measures authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will mean lower energy costs for families and more jobs for American workers; the Hire More Heroes Act, legislation encouraging employers to hire more of our nation’s veterans; and a proposal to restore the traditional 40-hour definition of full-time employment, removing an arbitrary and destructive government barrier to more hours and better pay created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Setting aside for a moment for the cynical nature of this proposal, it seems noteworthy to me that the Affordable Care Act is referred to by Boehner and McConnell as “Obamacare’ when they vow to repeal it, but further into the op-ed they refer to the law by its actual name when they propose amending it.

My takeaway is that they plan to follow the same blueprint that McConnell followed in Kentucky wherein he falsely claimed that they could repeal Obamacare without repealing the parts that people like (which is most of it).

On the subject of restoring the “traditional 40-hour definition” of full-time — this is nonsensical, unnecessary and cynical ploy.

Under Obamacare companies may be (more on this in a moment) required to offer healthcare to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Some companies have responded to this by reducing worker hours to 29 or fewer per week so that they aren’t required to provide healthcare.

Republicans contend that Obamacare is to blame, not the companies who have chosen to cut employee hours. And it’s a misnomer because companies who would cut employees hours under a threshold of 30 would also be willing to cut employee hours under a threshold of 40.

It’s also a misnomer because the employer mandate has been delayed until 2016! Any company that has chosen to cut employee hours at this time has done so without duress.