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Repeal effort flies in the face of evidence

Vote is more than symbolic: it's a waste of Congress's time

There’s no question in our minds that House Republicans will be successful today in voting to repeal health reform legislation. So what happens after the inevitable yelling and the inevitable House vote for repeal? Nothing. The Senate will not vote for repeal and President Obama will certainly veto anything that even smells like repeal.

That, of course, hasn’t stopped either Democrats or Republicans from rallying the public around the repeal effort. And, as we’ve said before, we don’t think that’s necessarily a horrible thing because the public is at least getting a fuller view of what they stand to lose.

The public, after all, has demanded again and again to know what, specifically, is in the law for them.

Of late, the Democrats have definitely done a better job of explaining what’s in the bill and providing evidence that they have consumers’ interests at heart. In the past week, they’ve released a tool that shows what each state would lose with repeal of the health reform law, and then another tool illustrating how repeal would affect each Congressional district.

And this week, Democrats made a clear and compelling case that a huge percentage of Americans – as many as 129 million of us – would be harmed by repeal’s elimination of the ACA provision aimed at pre-existing conditions. One of every two Americans could be affected by repeal of that provision alone.

Republicans contend that the health reform law is a job killer, but evidence points to the contrary. They claim that health reform will explode the deficit, despite Congressional Budget Office estimates that say the opposite. They claim Democrats are fiddling with numbers to show that the law is deficit neutral, but we agree with Ezra Klein that those criticisms miss the mark.

So today’s scenario is nothing new. From the beginning of this debate, Democrats have advanced a multitude of consumer-focused solutions to our national health care crisis. From the beginning, Republicans have refuted those ideas at every turn. Their best approach, as this writer points out, was simply to sow doubt and to delay.

We believe voters expect more, and that they’ll see this vote for more than its intended symbolism. They’ll also see it a further waste of our Congressional legislators’ time.

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