House conservatives want more failed attempts to repeal Obamacare

Freshman GOPers are "frustrated" they haven't had the chance to not repeal health care reform yet

By Jillian Rayfield

Published April 25, 2013 1:16PM (EDT)

Freshman Republicans in the House say that they are "frustrated" that leadership hasn't made a single attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act this year - after almost 40 attempts since the bill became law in 2010 - even though they know the move is purely symbolic and bound to fail.

At a panel on Wednesday hosted by the Heritage Foundation, conservative Republicans criticized leadership for failing to bring forward a repeal in 2013. "We need to continue fighting for repeal. We need a clean vote on repeal," said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee.

From Sahil Kapur at TPM:

“If you’re a freshman — the guys who’ve been up here the last year, we can go home and say listen, we voted 36 different times to repeal or replace Obamacare. Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say,” [Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.] said. “We haven’t had a repeal or replace vote this year.”

“We have not had a chance as freshmen to do that,” said first-term Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL). “Even if it’s just symbolic — and even if we understand that process-wise we are not going to be able to say, okay we want repeal, it’s done, and it’s over. But this is the issue that so many people around the country who love the Republican Party are frustrated with.”

The panel happened shortly before House Republican leadership scuttled a bill that would have extended coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, amid opposition from conservatives in the House who objected to expanding any part of Obamacare.

The New York Times reports:

The Helping Sick Americans Now Act sounded like solid middle ground — a measure to actually expand the part of President Obama’s health care law that created a federal “high-risk pool” in which people with pre-existing conditions could band together to buy subsidized insurance coverage. The provision was to be paid for by siphoning money from another part of Mr. Obama’s health care law, the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

But these days, those who linger in the middle of the road end up flattened. The White House issued a stern veto threat to keep the money in the fund, which chased away Democratic votes from the Helping Sick Americans Now Act. The Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee, warned that Republicans who voted in favor of the act would have their scorecards marked down for supporting part of the health care law. L. Brent Bozell III, a conservative activist, labeled the bill “Cantorcare” — and not as a compliment.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Barack Obama Eric Cantor House Republicans John Boehner Obamacare Steve Scalise