The Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act was not only embarrassing, it was wrong.
The GOP has been fighting the Democratic health care reform bill ever since it was introduced a year and a half ago with no clearly defined and well-supported argument, which speaks to the idea that Republicans seem to care more about ruining anything Democratic than about passing legislation that could actually help the country, like job creation or education.
In the Senate last Wednesday, Republicans ignored the Federal Aviation Authorization bill which will create and save up to 280,000 jobs, and instead decided to focus on a repeal effort.
What makes the Republican actions even worse is that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) admitted beforehand that the vote was done strictly for political reasons, claiming that the exercise was intended to force Democrats to take a position on the controversial health care bill which would be used as a political wedge in the upcoming 2012 elections.
For those that don’t know, the Affordable Health Care Act is one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation in history.
The law expands health insurance coverage to 32 million more people by making it illegal for insurance companies to deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 and makes it illegal for insurance companies to drop someone when they get sick, giving small businesses tax credits for providing health insurance for their employees, expanding Medicare and Medicaid coverage and bringing down the cost of premiums which have skyrocketed over the last decade.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the bill would reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the next ten years, and have a “small” effect on the number of jobs, in the sense that it will reduce the size of the available labor force, it will not actually impede job creation.
More importantly, American people support the new law, a fact to which Republicans should pay attention. According to a recent New York Times/CBS News Poll, 48 percent of Americans support the law, while 40 percent want it repealed. In addition, 43 percent of Americans want Congress to focus on job creation, while health care is a distant second priority, supported by only 18 percent of the population.
It’s about time we need to get past the hyperbolic Republican anti-healthcare reform rhetoric and focus on the consequences of their actions, the true effect that a total repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act will have on the nation.
Apparently, Republicans don’t believe that 32 million people who now have health insurance because of the new law actually deserve it, despite the fact that 45,000 Americans die every year because they lack sufficient health coverage, according to the Harvard Medical School.
Some Republicans refuse to believe that providing health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions is important, although the Department of Health and Human Services has found that up to 50 percent of Americans under the age of 65 may have pre-existing conditions that without healthcare reform would give insurance companies the right to deny them coverage.
Republicans don’t seem to care that over twice as many Americans want Congress to focus on job creation rather than on health care. Of the small minority of people that want Congress to focus on health care as the main issue, less than half want the law fully repealed.
Nevertheless, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, acting as somewhat of a spokesman for the Republican Party, said that the party’s top goals are making President Obama a one term president and overturning the Affordable Health Care Act. So to the American people, expect the GOP to continue to fight health care reform and ignore more pressing issues such as the economy, whether you like it or not.