It’s remarkable how, even almost four years after the law was enacted, and a year after the Supreme Court upheld the law, the GOP refuses to even legitimize it as “law.” It is still a “bill.”
In floor speeches, TV interviews and town halls, Republicans often refer to President Obama’s signature healthcare law either as “ObamaCare” or a healthcare “bill” — subtly implying that it’s not truly permanent.
“The bill is named after the president. Why wouldn’t the president want to be under the bill?” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) asked in a floor speech earlier this month, making the case that the president should get his healthcare through ObamaCare.
Conservatives in the Senate repeatedly called the law a bill last week as they tried to push their colleagues to embrace the possibility of a government shutdown over ObamaCare.
“The very people that this bill is supposed to be helping … are the people it is directly hurting,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said during the 21-hour talk-a-thon led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Sen. Rand Paul struck a similar note.
“Really, there are a host of problems and this bill does nothing to control costs,” he said, later adding “ObamaCare is 100 percent the president’s bill.
“I am very concerned that our country is going to suffer because some of our friends think they have to continue to support this dog of a bill,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on the Senate floor earlier this month.
Having followed the case as closely as I did, and after listening to statements made by Senators in the past few days, I still don’t think members of the Senate accept the passage of the law as legitimate. Recall, following the Christmas Eve vote, Senator Scott Brown was seated. The GOP thought at that point they could filibuster the law. Instead, the Democrats sent it straight to the House, and relied on the reconciliation process, which was not subject to the reconciliation process.
For example, here is Jeff Session’s comment during the “filibuster”:
I was here when everybody on the Republican side fought this legislation until Christmas Eve, when it was finally rammed through shortly before Scott Brown from Massachusetts could take office and kill it. That is how close it was. I know people disagree about how to deal with it, and I understand and respect people with differing visions, but I wanted to say the Senator’s leadership has served a valuable purpose tonight, and I am pleased to be able to support his effort.
In their minds, it should’ve been stopped with Scott Brown’s election. Of course, the GOP didn’t take the Senate in 2010, or in 2012, or the White House. There were plenty more times to kill the law. But, they still consider its passage illegitimate.