“If and when defunding has 60 votes in the Senate, we will absolutely deliver more than 218 votes in the House.”
That was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in an Aug. 9 interview with the National Review, essentially telling the nation that there will never be the votes in the U.S. Senate to support a continuing resolution that defunds the health care law.
And so the House will never attempt to pass one. Why?
“I am not aware of a single Democrat in the Senate who would join us,” Cantor said.
And none likely ever will. Indeed, after campaigning for more than a generation for universal health care, when the so-called “Affordable Care Act” finally passed in 2010, every single Democrat in the Senate voted for it.
Moreover, since the advent of Rule XXII in the Senate 96 years ago, Republicans have never had a filibuster-proof majority in that house of Congress. And barring a miracle performance in 2014, they likely never will.
They’d have to knock Democrats out of seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. Meanwhile not lose a single seat of their own, excepting New Jersey that Republicans have briefly picked up via appointment but are not very likely to keep in a special election later this year.
Meaning, if Republicans are waiting to reach 60 votes in the Senate to defund or repeal the health care law, the outcome is all but set in stone.
Obamacare will neither be defunded nor repealed.
And Cantor knows it.
Meanwhile, fuller implementation of the law is set to begin in 2014 when the individual mandate and the expansion of Medicaid kicks in. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates as many as 23 million could be added to the Medicaid rolls. Another 50 million or so will be subsidized via the insurance exchanges, according to an Americans for Limited Government analysis.
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