“Remember the strategy for stopping Obamacare we laid out to you back in July,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) told the House Republican conference last week. “Targeted legislative strikes aimed at shattering the legislative coalition the president has used to force his law on the nation.”
Thirty-nine House Democrats – one in five — voted for the measure. Democratic leaders breathed a cautious sigh of relief. Earlier last week, they feared that 100 or more anxious Democrats might defect. President Barack Obama’s “fix” for the Affordable Care Act, announced on Thursday, held back what might have been a tidal wave of defections.
Republicans want the old Democratic Party back.
That was the deeply divided party that fought over everything — wars, civil rights, spending, taxes. What happened during Obama’s first two years was something of a miracle. The Democratic Party held its majority together. They governed. We experienced something that is routine in a parliamentary system but rare in the United States — party government.
Democrats held similar majorities in Congress during President Bill Clinton’s first two years, 1993-94. Back then, however, the party could not hold together to pass healthcare reform.
By the time Obama took office 15 years later, however, everything had changed. In 2010, Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act on a strictly partisan vote. Not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for it.