In a sign that the GOP’s anti-Obamacare fervor may finally be giving way to political reality, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) latest Obamacare repeal bill doesn’t have a single co-sponsor in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Bachmann made introducing the repeal bill her first order of business for the 113th Congress, even as millions of Americans waited for House Republicans to act on a disaster relief package in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.Public support for repeal plunged from 46 percent in July to 33 percent in November (See Slide 12).
And two other anti-Obamacare bills — one to repeal the law’s individual insurance mandate and another introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to repeal the whole law — also do not have any co-sponsors. By contrast, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) so-called “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” had a total of 182 cosponsors by the fourth day of the 112th Congress, and House Republicans successfully voted to repeal Obamacare a staggering 33 times during the last session—costing taxpayers an approximate $50 million.
The sudden inability for Bachmann and King to get support for their repeal bills doesn't mean, as Sy Mukherjee points out, that Republicans have entirely given up on messing with health care reform. But the representatives' failure to gain co-sponsors on what was just a few months ago a signature issue for Republicans indicates that elections do, indeed, have consequences.