Obamacare faced the 50th bill for improvement on Wednesday in the House. The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives mercifully voted to delay for one year the tax penalty Americans will pay under President Barack Obama's healthcare law if they decline to enroll in health coverage.
Unlike most of the changes introduced and passed by a majority of Senate Democrats to strengthen their chances in the midterm elections, this was passed to actually help working Americans immediately.
The House approved votes die a quick death from the overwhelming majority in the Democratic-held Senate.
By contrast, the Senate has fiddled 31 times with Obamacare as the majority which is quickly signed by President Obama. Their nervousness over the highly controversial law says volumes about its original provisions.
But the momentum is changing. Nervous Democratic candidates in the Senate (and House) are increasingly turning a deaf ear to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in an effort to calm the angry electorate.
This vote in the House provided the first examples of Democrats running this year protecting their political asses. The jittery candidates fled the party pressure.
The measure to delay the tax penalty passed by a vote of 250-160, with 27 Democrats joining with 223 Republicans to back the legislation. It will still most likely go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate and would face a White House veto even if it succeeded.
It’s still eight months to the election. The 27 proponents from House Democrats provided a joint statement claiming they “cast the legislation as an issue of fairness.”
The Republicans quickly responded.
"This is an opportunity to stop the political games and put working Americans first," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican.
A disgruntled, yet predictable House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-CA) said after 50 such votes, "It's time for Republicans to end their obsession with upending health reform and work with Democrats to strengthen it."
Approximately 4 million people have enrolled in private insurance through the marketplaces. The open enrollment period ends on March 31. Enrollments are not individuals who have actually paid their first premium – a very important fact.
The March 31 deadline to enroll is easily the controversial portion of the law that will inevitably be on the minds of voters this November.
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