Waste of Time

The Congress has just headed home for a five-week vacation. But before leaving town, true to its priorities, the House of Representatives passed a bill for the 40th time against the healthcare reform known as Obamacare.

This measure has the same probabilities —zero— of becoming law as the House’s other 39 anti-Obama care bills. The only difference is that this time it also targeted the loathed Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including provisions that would prevent any coordination between the IRS and the healthcare initiative.

The temptation was too great to pass up an opportunity to grumble that the IRS is persecuting conservative organizations, when it is already clear that the same requirements were applied to liberal groups. Moreover, it is claimed, the government will be intruding upon the doctor/patient relationship, as if that relationship were not already in the hands of the health insurance companies.

The House leadership is simply preoccupied with scoring cheap political points instead of attending to the American people’s economic priorities. There is no better example of why the Congress now has the worst reputation of any branch of the federal government.

As if this weren’t enough, a group of Republican senators, headed up by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, among others, are advancing a strategy to defund Obamacare, even if it means that the federal government itself would shut down.

This past November’s defeat has not been sufficient for the Republicans to understand that the majority of Americans do not share in the GOP’s obsession with tearing healthcare reform apart. Such a stand does, of course, help them mobilize their base. But control of the House of Representatives ought to be used to govern in the interests of all, rather than to waste time proselytizing as they have done with 40 votes against a law already reaffirmed by the Supreme Court and now being implemented.