The PJ Tatler

What Happens Now that the House has Passed an Obamacare 'Fix'?

Now that the House has passed Upton’s Obamacare “Keep It” plan with 39 Democratic votes, it won’t move on to the Senate. It would have taken about half the Democrat caucus voting on it for that to happen, and Upton’s bill picked up about 20% of them. Sen. Harry Reid will table it, scuttle it, trashcan it as soon as he can, just as he has done to the more than 40 previous bills that the GOP House has passed to repeal Obamacare itself.

The Senate may or may not consider Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bill, which would also force Obama to keep his word, albeit by weaker means. Avoiding a vote on that bill may prove tougher for Reid, as it is a Democrat bill with numerous D co-sponsors including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Feinstein is not vulnerable to defeat next year. Politics and fear can’t be blamed entirely for her support, as they can for Landrieu’s sponsorship. The fact that women prominently support it boxes out any effective “war on women” nonsense from the White House.

Suppose the Democrat-led Senate scuttles that bill, too. Republicans will have a massive weapon to turn next year’s mid-term election into a national election. They can take on every vulnerable Democrat with ads tying them to Obamacare and the Democrat leadership’s refusal to even consider holding Obama to his word. The ads can be cranked out cookie-cutter style — show Obama’s promise, show vulnerable Democrat backing that promise, show Reid and describe him blocking the vote to hold them to that promise, promise that a vote for the local Republican is a vote to end the gridlock and hold the president accountable for his own promise. Vote Republican to restore accountability in Washington.

Suppose the Democrat-led Senate votes on that bill. With Democrats backing it and Republicans eager to position themselves better for 2014, it’s likely to pass. The House can easily pass a similar bill. It gets to the president’s desk, where he does…what?

A veto puts him on the spot vetoing a bipartisan bill that holds him to his word. Signing it acknowledges that he has lost his leadership, and for Democrats, it acknowledges that the law they all originally supported — against the majority of Americans’ wishes — was a flawed mess from the beginning.

The Republicans can still screw this up, but the Democrats have put themselves into a tails-we-lose, heads-Republicans-win situation. They have no one to blame or thank but themselves and the president they have supported.

If Republicans hold the House and re-take the Senate next year and Obamacare is seen as the cause, the president’s awful law is doomed.