While Republicans lambast the cost of implementing health care reform, a new report shows that their efforts to repeal the law have come at a major cost to taxpayers -- to the tune of nearly $50 million.
The House of Representatives again voted to repeal President Obama's signature health care law on Wednesday, marking the 33rd time Republicans have attempted to take down the legislation. The 32 previous repeal efforts faltered at the hands of the Democrat-controlled Senate; the latest attempt is unlikely to break that pattern.
According to a report by CBS News, these efforts, widely viewed as symbolic political maneuvers, come with a high price tag.
CBS' Nancy Cordes reported Wednesday that Republicans' many fruitless attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act have taken up at least 80 hours of time on the House floor since 2010, amounting to two full work weeks. As the House, according to the Congressional Research Service, costs taxpayers $24 million a week to operate, those two weeks amounted to a total cost of approximately $48 million.
The AP relays background on the GOP's repeal efforts:
There was never any doubt that Republicans had the votes to pass the repeal in the House on Wednesday – or that it would die in the Senate, where Democrats possessed more than enough strength to block it.
That's what happened in January 2011, when the newly installed Republican majority first voted to repeal the law a few days after taking office.
In the months since, the GOP has taken repeated further swipes at the law, including votes to deny salaries to any government officials who enforce it, to abolish a board of officials charged with holding down Medicare costs in the future and to repeal a tax on medical devices.
With the exception of a few relatively modest changes accepted by the White House, all the rest have died in the Senate.
Although Republicans have remained vocal on repeal since the Supreme Court upheld the law, party leaders have yet to agree upon and propose a concrete alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
Speaking before the House vote on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the vote would give "the Senate another chance to heed the will of the American people."
"Most Americans not only oppose this health care law -– they support fully repealing it," he reiterated after the measure's passage.
While most polls have shown that more Americans continue to oppose Obamacare than support it, a recent survey showing equal amounts of support and opposition for the law suggested the gap might be closing.