On Friday, House Republicans voted for legislation that would keep the government running in exchange for gutting Obamacare. While this was not the first time Republicans attempted to repeal Obamacare, but it may have been the craftiest. This is House Republicans' 42nd attempt at repealing Obamacare, either in part or in full. Despite having failed 41 times already, they keep pushing for a repeal. At this point, they need to accept their many losses and move on.
In the days before Obamacare became a reality, healthcare reform actively engaged U.S. Senators on both sides of the aisle. In July 2009 however, midway through the period of bipartisan negotiating, Obama announced his support of an individual mandate. This caused conservatives to recoil in terror and claim that this was a violation of individual liberty. Despite the conservative backlash, the bill was approved by both the House and Senate, and Obama signed it into law. Obamacare: 1. Republicans: 0.
Conservatives then took to the courts to proclaim Obamacare unconstitutional. After a variety of cases were brought to lower federal courts, the Supreme Court agreed to step in. It deemed that Congress did not have the authority to strip pre-existing Medicaid funding from states that chose not to comply with Medicaid expansion, and limited Congress' ability to expand Medicaid in individual states. However, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate when construed as a tax, which is central to Obamacare's functionality. Obamacare: 2. Republicans: 0.
Then, as Obama's term came to an end, Republicans set their hopes high. They fought to elect Mitt Romney, seize control of the Senate, and maintain control of the House for bringing about conservative-friendly healthcare reform. Indeed, the 2012 presidential election became, in many ways, "a fight over whether health insurance is a right or a privilege." We all know how this fight ended. On Nov. 6, 2012, Obama was reelected to a second term, and Democrats maintained control of the Senate, reaffirming the importance of construing healthcare as a human right. Obamacare: 3. Republicans: 0.
Then there was the myriad other challenges that proponents of Obamacare faced. Republicans have been uncooperative, have continued to file lawsuits, and of course have threatened to shut down the government, all to gut the bill in any way they can. Interestingly, some predict that House Republicans' most recent threat to shut down the government may inadvertently end up helping proponents of Obamacare. Ultimately, what the most recent challenge will add up to is Obamacare: 42. Republicans: 0. Republicans need to cut their losses and move on.