In the last Congress, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted 33 times to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). In this Congress, the total may very well be zero.
Paul Singer is out with a fun piece about the first hundred or so bills introduced in the 113th Congress. No change from previous Congresses, really -- the first people into the breach are the ones with doomed bills dear to their hearts, which they introduce every two years.
This, however, is a quiet change from the 112th: "Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced on Twitter that she had introduced the first bill of the 113th Congress to repeal Obamacare." Bachmann introduced the same bill immediately after the Affordable Care Act passed, and introduced it again in the 112th. But right now, a week after Bachmann introduced the bill, it has no co-sponsors. No one else has introduced an Obamacare repeal bill.
Since 2010, it's hard to overstate the time and energy congressional Republicans invested in trying to destroy the health care reform law, even though they knew it was largely pointless. After the Affordable Care Act was signed, Republicans introduced nine bills to repeal it. After the 2010 midterms, GOP leaders described repeal as one of their top priorities and it was one of the House's first legislative actions.
For proponents of the law, there was never a legitimate legislative threat -- repeal would never pass the Senate or get Obama's signature -- but Republicans kept up the vanity exercise anyway.
And yet, here we are.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is calling the Affordable Care Act "the law of the land"; public support for repeal is evaporating; even some conservative red-state governors are cooperating with implementation; and Michele Bachmann's repeal legislation hasn't attracted any co-sponsors.
It looks like "Obamacare" is here to stay. As Dave Weigel concluded, "The era of flashy repeal stunts is over."