House Republicans’ Obsession with Trashing Health Care Reform

July 11, 2012

by Jeremy Leaming

The right continues to wage a tiresome campaign against even modest efforts to repair the nation’s tattered social safety net.

Although only symbolic, since it won’t go anywhere in the Senate, the House of Representatives passed a measure to repeal the landmark health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

It was not the first time the House has voted on such a measure. In fact the chamber has voted more than 30 times to repeal the ACA. The right-wing controlled House wants to remind everyone that it cares little about the tens of millions of uninsured Americans.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) took to the floor during today’s vote to blast the House leadership’s continued obsession with destroying health care reform.

“If this bill were to pass, insurance companies could once again discriminate against 17 million children with pre-existing conditions. If it were to pass, 30 million Americans would lose their health insurance coverage. It would take away $651 each from 5.3 million seniors in the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ making their prescription drugs more expensive,” Hoyer (pictured) said.

He also noted that “6.6 million young adults under 26 would be forced off their parents’ plans, left to face a tough job market with the added pressure of being uninsured.”

All of the Republican’s repeal bills, as Hoyer highlighted, contained no measures to help the uninsured.

Meanwhile, several Republican state governors are loudly proclaiming they will not participate in the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid.

The Supreme Court’s opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, upholding the ACA, limited Congress’s spending power thereby allowing states to choose not to expand Medicaid. Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a letter to the Obama administration attacking the health care law in general, and declared his state would not extend Medicaid services. Pursuant to the ACA, the federal government covers a large share of the initial costs of Medicaid expansion. Perry, as The New York Times, has pointed out presides over a state with the highest percentage of uninsured.

Matt Miller in a piece for The Washington Post put it succinctly: “The Republican message to uninsured Americans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling couldn’t be clearer: You’re on your own.”