Yesterday’s vote was 245 – 189, with all 242 Republicans and 3 Democrats voting for the repeal. Only Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was absent from the vote. (Glenn Reynolds reminds us that if the press was consistent, this would be labeled “bipartisan” support for the repeal, not “party line.”)
Although opposition to the law remains strong, a recent AP poll found only 30% in favor of complete repeal. I don’t have any illusions about the House being successful in repealing the entire bill. What I believe will happen, though, is that House members will be forced to take a stand on not only the entire bill, but on many of the individual parts of the bill that a clear majority of Americans strongly oppose, particularly the individual mandate for health insurance. Half the states already have lawsuits challenging the mandate, which may make repealing the mandate much easier.
The Democrats spent most of their political capital getting this bill passed. Even though they controlled Congress and the White House, it took a lot of work to block access to committees, close off amendments, and bar Republicans from negotiations, on a bill of this magnitude. They also had to dangle a lot of carrots in front of Blue Dog Democrats in order to garner their votes — remember the “Louisiana Purchase” and Ben Nelson’s Medicaid Bribe? Because their victory was so costly (and probably, in retrospect, Pyrrhic), they had no desire to address any of the problems contained in the bill, even the looming, odious 1099 reporting requirements for small businesses.
Republican efforts will at least ensure that all of the bill finally has a chance to be understood and publicly debated by Congress.
ADDED: Something else to consider while discussing repeal: A Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare.