The War on Health Care Reform
The GOP-led House of Representatives have made good on a campaign promise. This past week they voted to repeal President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, Health Care.
“House Republicans moved quickly ahead with their own overhaul of the nation’s health care system,” Seth McLaughlin of the Washington Times said.
Congress voted to repeal Health Care 245-189 with one abstention. All members of the GOP voted in favor of repealing the law, alongside three Democrats. Conservative Representatives heard the voices of their angry constituents, and the uniform vote is a representation of the magnitude of the issue.
The problem with President Obama’s Health Care legislation is that it is unconstitutional at its very core. The United States government cannot force its citizens to purchase Health Care insurance. Evidence from Canada clearly demonstrates that universal Health Care is ineffective. Providing insurance for the masses is simply not in the government’s realm of responsibility.
“I and a lot of my fellow freshmen ran on repealing Obamacare. The folks in my district told me month after month they wanted this thing repealed,” Republican Congressman Joe Walsh said according to the Washington Post.
The outcome of the vote came as no surprise. However, the next course of action is unclear.
Although the vote for repeal is significant, the more substantial effort will be writing legislation, which proposes an alternative to the Health Care legislation President Obama signed into law in March. It is important for conservative constituents to realize that total repeal is not likely.
“Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower the costs without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R- Ohio) said. “Let’s work together to put into place reforms that lower the costs without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government. Let’s challenge ourselves to do better.”
Speaker Boehner has made it evident to the American people that his intent is to provide reform that actually lowers costs and protects American jobs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has made it clear that he will not bring the vote of a repeal to the Senate floor, according to the Washington Post Senator Reid’s strong words have caused many conservatives to wonder, “What is going to happen now?” Without the Senate voting on the repeal, it would seem as though Congress’ efforts were in vain.
In the days prior to the vote, prominent GOP leaders claimed that numerous House committees would convene in the coming days with the purpose of discovering ways to dissect certain provisions of the law, according to the Washington Post.
“I have a problem with the assumption here that somehow the Senate can be a place for legislation to go into a cul-de-sac or a dead end,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. “Leader Reid continues to say that he is not going to bring this up for a vote in the Senate. The American people deserve a full hearing. They deserve to see this legislation go to the Senate for a full vote.
The question is not whether or not the American people deserve a full hearing. There is no doubt that they do. The question is whether or not “politics as usual” will prevent them from having one.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was confident when he told the Washington Times, “I assure you, we will.” The news of a potential political stalemate may be disheartening, but it is important to remember that politics is not personal. Conservative lawmakers have a very real fight on their hands.
CNN political contributor Jonathan Mann said it best, “This week Washington went to war.”