The GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted today to repeal the historic health care reforms passed by the last Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The repeal has no chance in the U.S Senate and even if it did President Obama has said he would veto the bill.
This was just a day about politics as usual in Congress but it also tells us something about the values of those now leading the House. As my friend U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer noted today, repeal would mean:
- Children with pre-existing conditions will again be denied coverage and families will again have devastating annual and lifetime caps;
- Middle class Americans will lose the tax breaks that help millions of families and small businesses pay for coverage.
- Seniors will see their prescription drug costs rise again when the donut hole is reinstated.
- The federal deficit will increase by $230 billion over the next ten years and by more than $1.2 trillion in the following decade
- And the Republican proposal would simply give everyone under 55 a voucher and involve them in a serious experiment in personal sacrifice by arbitrarily cutting the value of care without any regard to quality or cost increases
Thankfully, the Senate and the White House are there as a firewall to stop ideas like this from advancing. Leaders from America's faith community - like the National Council of Churches - fought hard for passage of healthcare reform and spoke out strongly against the repeal vote held today.