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Why House GOP is pushing doomed health-care repeal – again

Wednesday's House vote marks the 33rd time that Republicans have tried to cut back or repeal President Obama's health-care law. They know it's going nowhere, but they have their reasons.

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House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R) of California speaks to Burger chain White Castle Systems, Inc. Vice President Jamie Richardson (l.) on Capitol Hill Tuesday, at the conclusion of his committee's hearing on 'Examining the Impact of Obamacare on Job Creators and the Economy.'

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try some 30 more times – at least if you’re House Republicans, who will vote to repeal President Obama’s health-care reform law in total for the second time Wednesday afternoon, making their 33rd overall whack at defunding, rolling back, or otherwise attempting to short-circuit the law.

So will the GOP’s second full repeal of the law be the charm? Hardly. The measure won’t see the light of day in the Democrat-held Senate. But it will serve several political purposes for both parties.

Republicans will use the vote as election-year fodder to fire up their conservative base, turn up the heat on vulnerable Democrats from conservative-leaning districts, and press their argument that Mr. Obama’s health-care reforms are shackling the economy.

Democrats, on the other hand, dismissed the vote as a political charade, attacking Republicans for taking their eye off the economy and failing to offer their own plan to replace the law the GOP derides as “Obamacare.”

The measure speaks to a core concern of many conservative voters – 86 percent of Republicans surveyed by CNN/ORC in late June and early July favored a total repeal of the measure.

And it’s not just among Republicans that conservative lawmakers believe they’ve got a winning issue. They believe that when Obamacare is in the headlines – as it was during the 2010 wave election that brought Republicans back into power in the House – GOP candidates win.

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