President Obama’s legendary health care reform was signed into law March 23, 2010 but this past Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the act in a 245-189 vote.
The vote was backed by the entire Republican Caucus, as well as a handful of Democrats. Republican leaders cheered the repeal as a first step in dismantling President Obama’s campaign promises.
While the act is symbolic, we at The Butler Collegian feel that the Republican party could be using their new majority power in a more effective manner.
Our concern with the repeal is that there are better ways to be spending Republican efforts and tax-payer dollars than the current uses.
It is clear that the Republicans were following up on a campaign promise made to voters, however the outcome of this action is quite predictable. The repeal of health care will not likely pass the Senate and even if it did, the action would be vetoed by President Obama.
The latest additions to the Republican caucus are partly due to Tea Party hype and because of their vow to repeal “Obama Care.” By attempting to repeal the act, the Republican Caucus has guaranteed immunity against accusations of unfulfilled campaign promises. It is becoming increasingly more evident that this move was purely political.
This past attempt shows us that bipartisanship will be necessary to successfully move this vote through the Senate so that it will reach President Obama’s desk.
Health care reform and its subsequent repeal will be a point of contention in the next presidential race and for years to come. However, the fact that Republicans are pushing a repeal so soon signifies that they are just looking to live up to the promises they made to get elected, not make impactful changes for the American people.
We hope that these first two weeks of the new session aren’t indicative of the rest of the term and that Republicans can reach across the aisle to gain Democratic support for an effective solution to health care reform.
Bipartisanship is necessary in this regard because so many issues depend on a solution to health care, such as raising the debt ceiling. Soon, a debate between Republicans and Democrats will determine whether or not the ceiling should be raised above its roughly $14 trillion limit. Health care is a crucial part of this debate since the U.S. spends exorbitant amounts of money on health care entitlements for Americans.
While we understand the Republicans’ effort to appease voter’s expectations, we are weary of the timing and motivation behind the repeal.
We feel that from this point forward, the Republican’s efforts should be focused on improving or changing the bill rather than simply launching it to the Senate within the first two weeks of the new session.
Hopefully, Republicans and Democrats can reach a comprehensive agreement for health care reform that will better serve Americans and allow the House to move forward to more pressing issues.