The Perils of Political Shorthand: The Senate Never Successfully Voted to Repeal All of Obamacare

Puzzled as to why Republicans now say that we cannot fully repeal Obamacare using budget reconciliation in the Senate?

“I’m trying to be accurate on this that there are some of these provisions in the law that probably will stay, or we may modify them, but we’re going to fix things, we’re going to repair things,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), a key player on healthcare, told reporters Tuesday.

“There are things we can build on and repair, there are things we can completely repeal,” he said.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is sounding a similar note. […]

“I think it is more accurate to say repair ObamaCare because, for example, in the reconciliation procedure that we have in the Senate, we can’t repeal all of ObamaCare,” Alexander said. “ObamaCare wasn’t passed by reconciliation, it can’t be repealed by reconciliation. So we can repair the individual market, which is a good place to start.”

Remember back when a Republican Senate and a Republican House allegedly forced President Obama to veto a repeal of Obamacare in 2016?

President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed legislation that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Senate bill passing a “repeal” of Obamacare was passed on December 3, 2015.

The Senate Thursday approved on a largely party line vote a budget bill that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, two top priorities of Republicans who control the chamber.

This sounded good at the time, but as it turns out the “repeal Obamacare” part wasn’t really true.
By voting to nullify Obamacare — the signature domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration — GOP congressional leaders fulfilled a longtime pledge to voters and rank-and-file members to get a repeal to President Barack Obama’s desk, even though he will veto it.
Republican leaders also want to send an unmistakable message to voters: If you elect a GOP president next year and keep the them in charge of Congress, Obamacare will go.