Zeal to Repeal Health Care Law Misguided

Posted on August 8, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

By Carl Chancellor

obamacare-enrollmentWith the Oct.1 deadline fast approaching for the launch of the state “insurance exchanges” – a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – House Republicans, before leaving for summer recess, voted yet again to repeal the law. And just like the previous 39 times, the 40th attempt by the GOP to derail Obamacare will not be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

However, the GOP’s failure to generate congressional traction doesn’t mean opposition to the health care law is waning. If anything the battle is heating up with both sides going into action ahead of one of the law’s most sweeping changes – the enrollment of customers through the new health insurance exchanges.

According to Politico, the tea party, which has been at the forefront of the anti-Obamacare fight, has a full slate of events – rallies, protests, demonstrations – planned for August and September to reinvigorate opposition to the law.

“The American people don’t want this law,” Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, recently told Politico. Martin said that her organization would fan out across the country protesting the law and would take aim at any lawmaker not supporting its repeal or defunding.

Meanwhile backers of Obamacare are crisscrossing the country as well touting the benefits of the ACA and specifically the health care insurance exchanges. One of the major challenges facing health care law is getting enough healthy people, particularly the young, to enroll.

The latest salvo in the war against the law is the claim that it will spark huge premium increases. However, the democratic leaning website Think Progress recently reported that opponents of Obamacare are cooking the books and playing fast and loose with the numbers. In fact several states, including Maryland and New York, are reporting lower than expected premiums.

Still, a recent Gallup poll shows that supporters of the health care law have their work cut out for them. According to the poll, 42 percent of Americans think the law will make their “family’s healthcare situation worse,” while only 22 percent believe the law will improve their lives. But the fear among opponents is that once Americans learn more about the law and see it in action their perspective will change. As Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page noted: “…while most Americans don’t think Obamacare will help them personally they want to give it a chance.”

What Americans don’t want is more congressional gridlock and yet another threatened government shutdown. However, according to The Hill, that is exactly what will happen if conservatives “demand that the healthcare law be defunded in a stopgap spending measure that Congress must pass to avert a government shutdown at the end of September.”

Yes, healthcare reform is an important issue, but so are the economy, education, climate change, homeland security and a host of other issues that are too crucial to America’s well-being to be held hostage to more political gamesmanship.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.



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