Wednesday, June 12, 2013


On January 19, 2011, Republican congressman Bob Gibbs voted for the very first time against "Obamacare" (officially named the Affordable Care Act).

The vote came fresh off the heels of his having defeated Democratic incumbent congressman Zack Space in the 18th District (before the 2010 generated redistricting).

Like Republican Jim Renacci in the "old" 16th District did to Democratic incumbent John Boccieri (voted "no" on November 7, 2009, but "yes" on March 21, 2010), he hammered away at the-then Congressman Space vote "yes" on Obamacare in the 2009 session of the 111th Congress before polling "no" on March 21, 2010 as the 2010 election neared.

It was rather silly of Space to vote "no" in 2010 after having voted "yes" in 2009.  After the 2009 vote, the die was cast and the turnabout in March of 2010 was not going to erase his original support of the measure for campaign purposes.

Voters were smart enough to figure out that he was really for Obamacare as evidenced by the 2009 vote and figured he could confuse, fool them by flip-flopping in 2010.

And, of course, Gibbs exploited Space's political opportunism big-time.

While all the politicking was going on leading up to the 2010 election, slightly more than half of all Americans disfavored Obamacare.

With redistricting in 2011 taking place, Gibbs became the congressman for most of Stark County in the guise of the 7th congressional district.

Now that the act has begun to be implemented, it is not clear what the political ramifications are to be in terms of supporting or not supporting the law now that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has made it "the law of the land."

Republicans are now beginning to show signs of waffling a bit.

The SCPR believes that the 37 GOP sponsored/led votes were designed to put Democrats on the spot with their "yes" for Obamacare votes in order to make political hay at election time.

While the SCPR has not examined each and every vote that Gibbs has cast on the 37 tries, given his latest histrionics on voting "no" on the 37th vote; it is axiomatic to believe he must have voted "no" on each of the ad nauseam votes.

Witness Gibbs "tweet" on his latest vote:

The laughable and disingenuous thing about the "tweet" is that the clear implication that he cares about the 30 million or so Americans who will remain without health care at the end of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

For the only way for him to be convincing in a purported desire to cover every single American is for him to come out for a Single Payer System.  Who believes that a Republican would ever, ever support Canadian, European style government provided health care?

So while he is trying to make it appear that he has a big heart, the political truth of the matter is that he is gaming the health care issue for continued political advantage and is seeking to continue to bash Democrats for the Party's embrace of keeping Obamacare pretty much intact.

His "repeal and replace" stance with the implication that the "replace" includes finding a way to cover the remaining 30 million or so uncovered Americans.

But Stark Countians should not believe the implication of his words.

Democrats for their part think the tide may be turning on the part of the electorate in favor of Obamacare and that the 37 "no" GOP engineered congressional votes may in time turn out to be a political albatross around Republican candidates.

With John Boccieri having removed himself from the mix of possible candidates to take on Gibbs, the lot could once again fall to Joyce Healy-Abrams who Gibbs handily defeated in November, 2012.

Whichever Democrat is the Gibbs opposition in 2014, it will be interesting to see how the campaign evolves around the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) issue.

How will each candidate approach getting the full healthcare coverage of each and every American going forward beyond 2016 which is the year of maximum implementation of Obamacare?

Right now, it appears that Gibbs is merely engaging political rhetoric and posturing.

In the 2014 campaign, he will have to provide a real program for achieving full coverage, will he not?

If not, he risks coming across of not only "not having a big heart" and more like being "heartless."

Are the Democrats correct?

Could the lack of full coverage of health for all Americans become a campaign wedge issue that will make the 37 Republican engendered congressional "no" votes a political liability rather than a political plus?

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