Health care repeal is reprehensible
Yesterday the republican house passed a bill to repeal the Health Care reform bill that President Barack Obama and the Democrats passed last March. Led by House Speaker John Boehner, the bill passed by a vote of 245 to 189.
“Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower the cost without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government,” Boehner said.
What are these better solutions? Boehner and other Republicans have yet to say; they view repeal as essential to solving the broken health care system that we have.
Maybe this better solution that Boehner is thinking of can only come after his opponents progress is undone.
The rationale seems to be crystal clear. First, we undo all progress because we didn’t achieve it, and then once things get worse we can think of something similar to implement. The reason Republicans want to completely repeal the health care bill is because their individual solutions don’t exist. If their solutions existed, they would be able to engage in a debate about specific parts, and how their solutions to those parts would serve the American people better.
The strategy of the Republican party has always been to bash the health care bill for the sole purpose of winning a political battle. The evidence of this can be seen in their lack of explanation for reasons to reverse the laws that are already helping millions of Americans.
Repealing the bill, designing a new one, and implementing it is not something that could be done overnight. Part of the success Republicans had in the midterm elections was due to the picture they painted of the health care bill.
Another common complaint of the Affordable Care Act that the Republicans capitalized on was that the bill didn’t solve enough problems before the midterm elections.
The problem Obama and the Democrats faced was that due to the size of the reform the health care bill deals with, the reforms had to be staggered. Now that the GOP is pushing for repeal, they face the challenges of explaining why the reforms that have already gone into effect should be undone.
This by no means should be an easy victory. With the split Congress that we have now, the political productivity concerning legislation will be awfully slow unless one side gives in. By making the repeal bill their first act of duty in this congressional term the republicans in control are demonstrating that they plan to do as little as possible in terms of real work.
The sad reality is that they are placing all of their eggs in one basket. In a little less than two years the Republicans will try to repeat the success they had in the midterm elections, but whether or not they can succeed is to be determined. If they gridlock Congress to where only a few lucky pieces of legislation pass through, they’ll have to rely on the same partisan warfare that was waged in the year leading up to the midterms.
All of this talk about reduced partisanship and a call for civil discourse has already been reduced to almost nothing. The events in Arizona have had no lasting effect to any member of the Republican party when it comes to recognizing the desperate need for bipartisanship in order to better serve the people.
Passing legislation to deal with those among us whom are mentally ill would deal with health care.
Taking a detailed look at drafting gun control legislation or implementing measures to further screen the people whom purchase guns in order to make sure they’re not mentally ill will also be a tough sell if Congress isn’t willing to move past the issue of health care.
The promise that Speaker Boehner made to his party is one that he can’t keep, but what he does know is that the harder he and his party work toward limiting progress the better their chances are at making Obama look bad.
This is indeed a pretty shallow goal, and it’s one that doesn’t work for the good of Americans.
Ultimately the Republicans must hope that their plan to delay progress works and that they can continue to give the current administration a bad name.
Most of the reform that is not already in place is scheduled to go into effect after 2012. The only reform set for implementation before 2013 requires individual and small group market insurance plans to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services and large group plans would be required to spend 85 percent.
As the health care reforms do what they were designed to do and as the economy recovers, the Republicans will be extremely challenged by the factors that they can’t control.