WASHINGTON -- Republicans' oft-repeated complaints about Obamacare are so old, tired and bad that they're like a list of lame jokes endlessly repeated by inmates, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday.
Speaking after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the floor to again bemoan the flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on Americans, Reid summarily dismissed McConnell's complaints.
"The remarks of my friend the Republican leader kind of remind me of a joke that's not very funny, but it's a joke -- it makes the point here, I think," Reid said on the Senate floor.
He said the joke involved three friends in a "prison setting" who had told all their own jokes so many times that all three knew all the punchlines by heart. Rather than keep retelling the full jokes, Reid said, they decided to number them and just shout out the number so they could laugh.
"Our Republican colleagues, why don't they just -- let's number their one-through-50 criticisms of Obamacare, and then rather than coming and give these speeches, I think we would be much better off if, in fact, what they would do is just give us a number and we would all -- because we've heard these things so many times -- we would immediately laugh, because basically they're jokes too," Reid said.
McConnell spokesman Don Stewart later responded that the minority leader's complaints about rising premiums, insurance cancellations and security concerns were anything but jokes. "They're about the real consequences that Americans are facing as a result of legislation that even many of Senator Reid's fellow Democrats are starting to notice," Stewart said.
Reid said that rather than keep trying to delay or downsize the health care law, the GOP needs to move on.
"It's too bad that the Republican leader and many of his Republican colleagues want to keep fighting an old fight. Four years ago we passed the health reform bill -- four years ago," said Reid. (Obamacare passed the Senate in late 2009.) "The president signed it, the Supreme Court upheld it, it's the law of the land.
"Of course we want to make it better," Reid said. "But I wish our Republican colleagues would stop trying to scare people out of participating in this program. If they would stop fighting last year's fights and move on and try to do the business of the American people, we'd all be better off."
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.