As you probably know by now, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Legally, it means nothing, since it’s only an action of one chamber of Congress. Politically, it shows that Republicans may have gotten the message that the law is unpopular, and filled with problems. The Washington Post called it the “first major act of the new Congress,” and it’s appropriate that it is–for ObamaCare has done more than any legislation in decades to fundamentally move the U.S. away from a country with a government to a government with country. I’m embellishing a bit here, granted, but then again, read this warning from the Claremont Review of Books.
Does the House vote mean that real health care reform is underway? Or is it the high-water mark of a push-back against a law that will eventually be embraced as much as, say, the Social Security Act?
The Republican Party, like it or not, is the chief political vehicle for undoing the law and replacing it with something better. As Greg Scandlen, a long-time participant in the area of health care policy, points to several leading Republicans, the party’s record isn’t all that good. He points to several prominent leaders, including George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich, who don’t believe in individual choice as exercised through markets. No surprise there? Old school Republicans who are now irrelevant? How about Mitt Romney, who must be considered one of the leading contenders for the 2012 nomination? He takes hope in a new generation of leaders, such as U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, but warns, “These guys have one opportunity – just one – to show the country they have some principles and some spine.”
The New York Times reports that all Republican members of the House voted “yes,” which is a good sign. Would that more than three Democrats had joined them. What was that I heard recently about the need for bipartisanship?