After the Democrats passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote, Republicans generally (and wisely) united around the notion that they shouldn’t pursue partial repeal or “fixes” to Obamacare. Rather than willingly giving Obamacare a newly bipartisan sheen, they publicly committed to repealing it in full. (The only exception to this partial-repeal moratorium was supposed to be in cases, like with Obamacare’s individual mandate or insurer bailout, where partial repeal would weaken Obamacare and thus advance the cause of repeal.)
The party’s focus on repealing and replacing Obamacare has clearly served it well while reflecting public sentiment. Since Obamacare’s passage, Republican membership has increased by more than 30 percent in the Senate and nearly 40 percent in the House. These are massive, historic, Obamacare-driven gains.
But what happens when Republicans’ desire to repeal and replace Obamacare collides with their desire to provide relief to a particular deep-pocketed corporate interest? You guessed it: the latter wins — in a landslide. On Thursday, the House passed legislation to repeal Obamacare’s medical device tax, 280-140. Among Republicans, the vote was 234-0.