GOP Determined to Undermine, if not Repeal, Health-Care Law


Republicans are trying to get as many seats in the Congressional Election as possible, allowing them to attempt to repeal the recent Health Law that has caused so much uproar. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee calls the law a “historic mistake.”

While specific plans will be laid out in an election agenda this Thursday, one major initiative will be to deprive the federal officials of funding necessary to administer/enforce the law. “They’ll get not one dime from us,” the House Republican leader John A. Boehner of Ohio, told The Cincinnati Enquirer recently. “Not a dime. There is no fixing this.”

Another known initiative is to introduce a bill that would eliminate the tax penalty on businesses who don’t offer insurance to their employees. This one I’m not so sure on. I think businesses have a responsibility to offer at least some insurance to their employees. This is a staple of a good business, making sure its employees are cared for properly. It also ensures a smaller turnover rate, as an employee who is covered is less likely to leave for a new job than one who has less ties with the company.

Should the Law pass anyway, the GOP plans to try limiting funds to the IRS who would enforce the tax penalties. However, the penalties themselves may not be enough of a consequence for businesses to provide the coverage at all.

Olympia J. Snowe (Republican of Maine) makes a solid point in that the law could inadvertently create an incentive for employers to discontinue coverage because the financial penalties for not offering insurance are far less than the cost of providing it. This would defeat the entire purpose of the law, leaving more people uninsured.

While I agree that the Health Law was a mistake, the GOP has a few hurdles to get over before it can achieve its goal.

First, the law was passed out of necessity. 50.7 million people were uninsured last year. What will the GOP propose to replace the law and still find a way to get these people insured?

Second, the Law saves money. The GOP will have to propose a solution of equal savings if they were to repeal the law.

Third, the Health Law has several items that Republicans are for, like coverage despite pre-existing conditions. The issue there is making sure people don’t wait until they get sick to buy the coverage.

If the GOP can find reasonable answers to these challenges, then a repeal is possible. If not, then opposing the law will only cause more division and needless complications, which inevitably means more spending.

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Comments
3 Responses to “GOP Determined to Undermine, if not Repeal, Health-Care Law”
  1. Kirk says:

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your facts. 50 million is the highest number I’ve ever seen as far as uninsured people. 1 in 7 Americans is not uninsured.

    As far as the responsibility of a business, that’s highly debatable. Insurance being attached to employment is a relic of WWII when there was a shortage of employable workers, and the US government did not want people moving to areas with the highest wages so we passed laws resticting insurance portability. So if you move from CA to MO, for example, you cant take whatever insurance you have with whatever company you work for. You have to change plans. This is ridiculous. If you can buy car insurance, you should be able to buy health insurance.

    How does the law “Save money”? You just state it as if its a known fact, when in reality the law thus far has caused premiums to rise and has forced private insurers to close off plans because they can no longer afford to support them. The most famous example of which is many top name insurers ending children-only plans.

    The 2000+ pages of legislation did nothing to address a huge issue in health care: rising costs. For example, I went to the doctor last week, to ask some questions since my wife and I are considering having children. Nothing was done to me or for me. I simply asked questions. Last week, I recieved my statement, which the insurance covered all by my copay. The cost to the insurance company? $350. Why? I have no idea; as much as I appreciate my doctors time, his answers were not worth that much money. The same thing can be said about a ton of what goes on in medicine. There’s no clearcut reason why things cost a ton.

    Repeal is impossible; the law is so far reaching, even into mundane things, you’d have to get a Republican President in office as well as a clear republican majority in order to truly repeal this law (or rather series of laws). Not gonna happen for 2 (and more likely 6) years if ever.

  2. I got the 50.7 (actually 50.67) million statistic from the Census Bureau’s “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009” press release

    (http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb10-144.html).

    As for the responsibility of the business to provide health insurance, I should rephrase. It isn’t necessarily a responsibility, more of a courtesy. However, it IS a mark of a good company, one that is willing to invest in it’s employees. As you said, it helps deter employees from up and leaving for another job, avoiding high turnover rates. Caring for you employees is not a relic.

    In regards to saving money, I got that information from the Congressional budget Office, as seen below:

    “On March 20, 2010, CBO released its final cost estimate for the reconciliation act, which encompassed the effects of both pieces of legislation. Table 1 (on page 5) provides a broad summary and Table 2 offers a detailed breakdown of the budgetary effects of the two pieces of legislation. CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation will produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period. About $124 billion of that savings stems from provisions dealing with health care and federal revenues; the other $19 billion results from the education provisions. Those figures do not include potential costs that would be funded through future appropriations (those are discussed on pages 10-11 of the cost estimate).”

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