GOP readying to reform Obamacare

Congressional Republicans are part of a strategic legislative challenge to roll back Obamacare. The effort no doubt will be fruitless this year, but it sets the stage for November electioneering, which could lead to substantive legal challenges in next year’s new Congress if the GOP gains significantly, perhaps even winning control of one or both houses.

“Even if the bills don’t advance,” the Sacramento Bee noted recently, “the issue is sure to provide fodder in this year’s political campaigns, with Republicans calculating it’s a winning issue for them.”

California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina for months has made repealing the Democratic Party’s so-called health care “reform” a foundational plank in her campaign to oust Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Republicans plan to capitalize on Democrats’ frenzied rush to push through the massive health care bill called for by President Barack Obama, of which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shamelessly admonished, “(W)e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

Since passage in March, the controversy has only escalated as America increasingly has found out what was in it.

It’s proving destructive to our economy.

For example, the White Castle hamburger chain said last week it would lose 55 percent of its annual net income because of a single provision to levy fines of $3,000 per employee when the company pays insurance premiums amounting to more than 9.5 percent of their income.

Republican Rep. Wally Herger of California plans to circulate a discharge petition to force a congressional vote to repeal the law. A colleague has a bill to repeal a provision that will force businesses to file 1099 IRS forms for each purchase of $600 or more in goods or services from another business, a costly administrative burden disproportionately harmful to small companies.

These assaults on the Obama administration’s signature achievement are certain to fail in the Democratic-controlled Congress, and would be vetoed if they did pass. But they serve another purpose. They sound a loud rally cry to announce Republicans’ are making the 2010 election a referendum on what is increasingly an unpopular health care law, whose full economy-damaging effects are only now becoming known.