Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

By Miriam Raftery

July 12, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – San Diego’s Republican representatives Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray and Darrell issue joined the Republican majority in the House of Representatives in voting to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act—taking health benefits away from their constituents as well as eliminating the mandate for coverage.

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton sent an email blasting the vote.  “If ever anyone was looking for a reason to vote Congressional Republicans out of office in November, this has got to be it.”

The Republican legislators voted to:

·     Allow insurance companies to drop coverage for people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, pregnancy, heart disease, or cancer;
·     Take away health care coverage for young people under age 26 who are now covered under their parents’ insurance policy;
·     Take away $250 rebate checks for those seniors dealing with increased out-of-pocket prescription Medicare costs;
·    Allow insurance companies to go back to dropping coverage when patients get sick, a practice that was outlawed by the Affordable Health Care Act
·     Take away life saving preventive medical services and tests like mammograms.

Passed by Congress in 2010, the Affordable Health Care Act was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as constitutional.

A key objection raised by critics has been the Act’s mandate requiring people to buy healthcare insurance.  While the bill provided assistance to low-income individuals, some argued that the income limit for such aid was too low, while others objected to any such mandate.  Concerns have also been raised over impacts on businesses; some companies stand to benefit from enactment of the healthcare reforms, while others could pay more.  

But even many critics have contended that the Affordable Health Care act should be improved, not repealed, in order to keep in place key protections against insurance company abuses of the past.

Speaking to the NAACP today,  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew boos when he pledged to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act signed into law by President Barack Obama, calling it "non-essential."  Romney has called the mandate to buy healthcare a “tax”, even though when he signed into law a similar mandate  as Governor of Massachusetts, he insisted it was not a tax.

San Diego’s Democratic representatives Susan Davis and Bob Filner voted against the repeal, which passed by a 244 to 185 margin.  The bill is expected to be blocked by the Senate, which remains under Democratic control.

To learn more about the Affordable Healthcare Act's provisions and how they will affect you, your family and your business as its provisions are phased in over the next couple of years, click here.



Opposing view

American Healthcare is not the problem; it is the symptom of a far greater problem. Government mismanagement is the primary reason the majority of those who can’t afford healthcare, aren’t able to afford it and/or have access to it. Hence, Obamacare does not fix the real source of the problem; it puts a band aid on a symptom of the real source of the problem and allows more government intervention, control, and mismanagement without addressing the real problem.

Government has a bad administrative cost to benefit ratio. The government has never been efficient in managing its programs. Very seldom does the benefit outweigh the cost of operation and administration.

If Obamacare is so great, why did the elected officials exempt themselves from it?

More Money in Government hands wrenched from the pockets of hardworking citizens regardless of what you call it; penalties, user fees, or contributions is not a good thing. Creating another big pool of government money just provides another place where politicians can get kickbacks by determining who gets the taxpayer money. The money won’t go to the place with most logical medical need for relief; the money will be distributed based on the highest campaign contribution or other consideration to elected officials.

A proposed surtax on the wealthy will actually hit hundreds of thousands of small business owners who are dealing with a recession. If it is enacted, America’s top earners and job creators will carry a larger overall tax burden than France, Italy, Germany, Japan, etc., with a total average tax rate greater than 52%. Is that the right recipe for jobs and wage growth?

The CBO says the current House plan would increase the deficit by $239 billion over 10 years. And that number will likely continue to rise over the long term.

I applaud Romney for addressing the NAACP, whose members are mostly Democrat. He showed his willingness to reach out to a group that has been voting primarily for the opposing party but they haven't seen the results they had hoped to achieve.