Senate Democrats block the repeal of ‘Obamacare’ and continue their headlong dash to self-induced defeat in 2012…
February 04, 2011
by Matt Campbell
This past Wednesday, Senate Democrats once again failed to listen to the will of the vast majority of American citizens, by opposing Republican efforts to put forward a repeal of the healthcare law ratified in 2010. The repeal measure, which was passed last week by the United States House of Representatives, was blunted in the Senate by a vote straight down party lines. 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans.
More distressing than the vote is the continuing willful disregard of Senate Democrats to acknowledge or even consider the will of those whom they represent. Further, the Senate Democrats refused to recognize that the healthcare bill that they passed into law should have never been passed. This stubborn attitude was demonstrated in the comments several Senate Democrats made from the floor. Perhaps the most telling of these comments were those made by Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida:
“My preference is we fix the law, that we don’t throw it out” said Nelson from the Senate floor Wednesday.
The word “fix” by its definition implies a state of brokenness, and if the bill was broken, why was it passed at the intial vote in March of last year? Senate Democrats have yet to explain that discrepancy, but Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have given an clear insight into the Democrat thought processes with her enthusiastic declaration - ”We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it…”
Sen. Nelson, however, is not the only senatorial Democrat demonstrating a lack of connectivity to the will of the American citizenry. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, took a swing at Senate Republicans saying - ”They are fighting for repeal but refusing to offer any new ideas… Republicans have had a year to propose a plan to replace the law they dislike even though 80% of Americans don’t want it repealed in the first place.” The problem with Sen. Reid’s “80%” number is that it is just plain wrong. According to Rasmussen, 58% of Americans want the healthcare law REPEALED. Also, in the most recent Quinnipiac poll the numbers favor repeal as well with 48% favoring repeal to 43% falling in the “don’t repeal”, or “don’t know” category. Furthermore, Republicans were, in fact, offering a solution… Don’t pass a broken bill – especially when it goes against the will of the American people.
In all likelihood, this matter will end up before the Supreme Court, and many Democrat Senators, including Sen. Bill Nelson, seem ready to pass along the responsibility for this decision.
Sen. Nelson made this clear in his statements from the floor: ”Doesn’t anyone conclude that this matter is going to the Supreme Court to decide if this law is constitutional or not? The Supreme Court decision is going to discard political and partisan interests.” Nelson continued “Why don’t we just expedite the matter?”
Both Republican and Democrat Senators received thousands of letters and e-mails requesting the repeal of the 2010 healthcare law. For Sen. Nelson messages from his home state of Florida included communications from two of his likely competitors in the 2012 Senate race for the seat he now holds.
Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos and U.S. Representative Connie Mack (R- 14) both sent letters to Sen. Bill Nelson requesting that he support the repeal. Representative Connie Mack wrote eloquently, but stated in no uncertain terms precisely what Florida constituents expected of Sen. Nelson - ”It is critically important that you listen to the will of your constituents and to the federal courts that ruled it unconstitutional, and finally stop supporting this dreadful, unconstitutional, and harmful piece of legislation… Floridians await your decision,” Rep. Mack wrote “and also know to be mindful of any procedural motions ahead of the vote that would also measure your intentions.” Sen. Nelson will face both Haridopolos and Mack in the swiftly approaching campaign season, where it is likely the health care law will play a significant role.
By the admission of Republicans, the vote for repealing ’Obamacare’ was a long shot in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but Republican leaders were quick to point out that this vote is just the start. Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell stated- “This fight isn’t over. We intend to continue the fight to repeal and replace ‘Obamacare’.
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina made reference to the far-reaching effects of this Senate vote in his statement- “There is going to be a presidential election in 2012, and this healthcare bill is going to be an issue…”
Many ongoing court battles will keep this law in the forefront, including Florida’s recent court decision, finding the 2010 healthcare law unconstitutional.
All of America will be keeping watch; both on the course of this bill, and the Democrat Senators who continue to ignore the will of the people in favor of party agenda.