Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare! For the past two years, the Affordable Care Act has been associated with President Obama’s persistence to change healthcare and the GOP’s resistance to embrace the law, rather than the mechanisms of the actual law itself.
“Obama thinks that government can do a better job than you in the way you live your life and Obamacare is point No. 1,” former presidential nominee Mitt Romney stated during his September presidential stump in Toldeo, Ohio. “He wants to put bureaucrats between you and your doctor. He believes that government should tell you what kind of insurance you have to have. He believes government should have a board of people who tell you what kind of care you can receive.”
Romney’s statements express some of the sentiments that members of the Republican Party have had regarding Obamacare. If elected as president, Romney would have repealed Obamacare and changed the face of healthcare reform. However, now that President Obama has been re-elected, the GOP are a crossroads in regards to the future of our nation’s healthcare system.
Many Republican leaders are struggling with whether they should embrace the law, embrace portions of the law, or continue to express their discomfort with the implementation of the law. For example, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has called for deleting portions of Obamacare during his fiscal cliff discussions. “If the President is serious about joining us and fixing the problem he ought to be putting Obamacare on the table,” Cantor told Fox News. “There is no question in my mind, that is the largest expansion of government programs that we’ve seen.”
Another Republican who agrees with Cantor is House Speaker John Boehner. “The president’s health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the size of our country’s entire economy. We can’t afford it, and we can’t afford to leave it intact,” he wrote in an op-ed published by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Even though Speaker Boehner was quoted as describing Obamacare as the “law of the land”, he has continuously urged the White House to delete certain portions of the law in their continued fiscal cliff discussions.
Rep. Tom Price of Georgia has been encouraging House members to produce legislation to replace Obamacare during the next session of Congress. Price, a Republican doctor on the House Ways and Means Committee recently stated, “It’s incumbent upon us to put forward positive, alternative solutions” at a POLITICO Pro P2012 breakfast panel. Price also predicted that Democrats will begin to turn against some of the portions of the law, which will in turn help in the Republicans’ efforts to repeal the law.
All eyes are now on Republican governors who have to decide whether to implement a state-ran health insurance marketplace, one of the biggest points of contention between Democrats and Republicans in regards to Obamacare.