Act on Jobs, Not on Political Gamesmanship
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In response to the court's ruling, Republicans in the House of Representatives decided to hold a vote to repeal the health care law completely. The timing of this could not be worse; neither could the flagrant political posturing.
It is important to realize what a full repeal of this bill would mean. The Medicare prescription "doughnut hole," would remain open, once again placing the burden of full payment on our seniors. People with pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer patients, could once again be denied the possibility obtaining affordable care. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the federal deficit would increase by $210 billion. 3.8 million Pennsylvanians have already used a free preventative service provided by the Affordable Care Act- this would cease. These popular benefits and many other reforms the ACA brings must not be repealed.
Beyond being bad policy, this push to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a meaningless political game. During their time in the minority, these Republicans remarked that health care was the wrong priority, and that Congress should be focusing on other job creation measures. Yet during their time in the majority, Republicans have voted thirty-two times to repeal measures contained in this health care law, and they have already voted once for a full repeal. We know that the Senate will not vote to overturn this law. Now is not the time to engage in these types of useless political games- now is the time for bold action.
Last week, we saw the best of Congress. Working across the aisle, Democrats and Republicans passed a Transportation Bill that promises to create or retain 2.9 million jobs in the construction industry, a sector that has been battered in this recession. The American people are looking to Congress for more of this job-creating legislation. Let's hope that they will deliver.