Analysts: Health care repeal ‘mathematically impossible’ in next few years

WASHINGTON — Even before the final health care reform bill passed the House, Republicans were talking repeal. Setting aside the political difficulties (which is a big set-aside, but we’ll get to that at a later date) analysts said such a legislative repeal would be mathematically impossible until at least 2013.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has already introduced a one-page bill that would get rid of the entire health care package and several others in her caucus have said they would support such an effort.

That bill will almost certainly go exactly nowhere this year, as Bachmann herself concedes. Instead, she told me before the vote that she’s asking the American people for veto-proof Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

And that can’t happen until at least 2013. If Republicans were to win every single Democrat-held seat in the Senate that’s up for election this year and didn’t lose any of their own, they’d wind up holding just 59 seats. That would be one heck of a gain from the 41 they’ve got now, but still far short of the 67 needed to override President Obama’s inevitable veto.

The math on what would be needed to get the majorities required for repeal in 2013 — Winning the presidency, getting to 60 seats in the Senate and holding a sizeable majority in the House — is explained far better than I could by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, so let me redirect you there for that analysis.

Silver’s odds of that happening? “Perhaps” 10 percent.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 03/24/2010 - 08:40 pm.

    No matter what happens in November, the GOP won’t be able to overcome a presidential veto. So ‘repeal it’ is just stupid on the face of it, for the 2010 elections at least. Is the GOP the party of tilting at windmills, or does it want to accomplish something?

    And seriously, where was all this rhetoric back when the GOP passed Medicare Part D? Just as big, and they didn’t even attempt to have it paid for. Where was all the talk about entitlements and communism and debt for our children back then?

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