Area Lawmakers Make Good on Promise to Repeal Health Care
Local Republicans in Congress this week are following through on their pledge to try to turn back last year's health care reform measures, voting Wednesday to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, and U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, cited predictions of slowed economic growth in relating their support for the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. Both said they have heard from constituent residents and business owners who expect that they will be affected negatively by the act. District 13 Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Hinsdale, one of the 141 sponsors of the bill, also voted for rolling back the reforms.
"Whether it's dropped coverage, higher costs, or lost jobs, the unintended consequences of the administration's plan have piled up," Biggert said on the House floor Wednesday. "This law is not salvageable."
The initiative is widely regarded as a symbolic vote in the GOP-led House. Leaders in the Democratic-controlled Senate have vowed to vote down the repeal attempt, and a veto by President Obama is seen as a certainty.
Hultgren said in a press release that the law already has been a "miserable failure" as a cost-savings measure. And Roskam told his colleagues on the House floor Wednesday that employers' apprehensions about expanding their head counts in the face of uncertainties about their future health care expenses underscore the need "to change this economy so that people want to hire again."
The local lawmakers were also on board when the House voted Thursday to move ahead on a revised health reform plan. Included in that proposal are a dozen general goals, most of which are part of the existing law, with direction for four committees to draw up new legislative proposals.
Public opinion has shifted in recent months, as some of the law's more popular provisions — including expanded insurance coverage for young-adult children and coverage for pre-existing conditions — have taken effect. Another feature expected to be well-received, insurance exchanges, was added to the lineup Thursday.
A year ago, when the debate was at its peak leading up to congressional passage of the comprehensive measures, surveys indicated those who opposed the bill outnumbered those who supported it.
In a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll taken early this week, Americans were split, with those opposed to repeal effort comprising 46 percent of the sample, while 45 percent supported it. Sixty-two percent said they preferred that lawmakers leave the legislation in its current form or add to its provisions.