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Thursday, June 21, 2018

House Republicans have voted to move forward on their 37th repeal of Obamacare and it probably won’t be their last, though they have no plan to actually replace the law.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a co-sponsor of the bill to repeal the historic reforms, has a new theory about how the Affordable Care Act will be defeated, though she spent much of her 2012 presidential campaign saying the upcoming election would be the GOP’s last chance to kill the bill.

“The issue is now revived,” she said at a press conference Thursday. “We believe that the heat will become so hot that even the president of the United States will be forced to repudiate his signature legislation.”

She apparently said this in all seriousness.

Bachmann is tying the law to the IRS scandal where agents targeted Tea Party groups. And she’s suggesting that the government may use a federal healthcare database to embarrass opponents.

“It’s crucial that we ask these questions now,” Bachmann said. “Today, this question is highly relevant.”

The goal of this 37th repeal is to give freshman Republican congressmen a chance to lose their repealing Obamacare virginity. This will, it seems, give them something to brag about in lieu of any actual accomplishments.

Businessweek‘s Joshua Green points out that though Democrats make a big deal of all the time and money spent of the GOP’s constant repeals, they’re actually excellent for the image of Democrats:

Republicans who support a ‘Gang of Eight’-style reform bill do so primarily because they believe they must to win Latino voters and have a fighting shot in the next presidential election—exit polls showed that Obama won this group, 71 percent to 27 percent, last November. Republican opponents of a broad, amnesty-style reform argue that legalizing undocumented immigrants will do little to win their support (and may hurt the party with the blue-collar males it relies on).

Obamacare is a prime illustration of why they might be right. Latinos support the law at a higher rate than any other group. This Fox News poll from last fall found that 62 percent approved the president’s handling of health care. This Latino Decisions poll found that 66 percent think the government should ensure access to health care and 61 percent want to keep Obamacare in place. According to the government, about one-third of Latinos under 65 lack health insurance, many of them needy. Latinos are also far more likely than non-Latinos (39 percent to 26 percent) to agree that the government should do more to improve living standards for the poor.