On 1 Year Anniversary, Republicans Repudiate ‘Obamacare’
By Keegan Gibson and Whitney Roper
Republicans continued the PR battle over health care reform yesterday, in what was primarily a rehash of familiar arguments on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s signing the bill into law.
Polling has generally showed mixed results for the law in PA. By narrow poll margins, a plurality of Pennsylvanians disapprove of the health care law as a whole. The individual mandate is less popular. Other components of the law on the other hand, like closing the Medicare doughnut hole and ending denials for pre-existing conditions, remain popular.
Republicans had the highest-profile event of the day, a field hearing of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is chaired by Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Chester). There, the GOP showcased its charges that the new law is unconstitutional bad for the economy.
“On the one year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being signed into law, we are here to examine the effects that the law will have, and is already having, on states. And, we will hear how various provisions in the law are burdening businesses and employers, precisely at a time when we need them to be hiring new employees and creating jobs,” said Pitts.
Governor Corbett was the main attraction, and he discussed his role in bringing a legal challenge the constitutionality of ‘Obamacare’ as well as possible adverse effects on state budgets.
Watch the video below to hear the Governor.
“As we meet the one year anniversary of President Obama’s signature initiative, my worst nightmares have become a reality as the law’s implementation continues to drive up costs, saddle small businesses with burdensome regulations, and imposes unfunded mandates on the Commonwealth, by shifting costs from the federal government to the states,” stated Congrssman Glenn Thompson (R-Centre), also present at the hearing.
The PA Independent has a very thorough write-up on the hearing and GOP efforts to scale back the law in piecemeal fashion in light of the political reality that direct repeal won’t happen while Democrats occupy the White House and the Senate Majority.
PA GOP Chairman Gleason was on the same page as the elected Republicans.
“One year after Democrats jammed government-run healthcare down our throats, ObamaCare remains more unpopular than ever in Pennsylvania,” Gleason said. “Just look at the election results last November, where Pennsylvanians fired Democrat Senator Arlen Specter and five Democrat members of Congress who voted for the bill, choosing their Democrat Party bosses over the needs and concerns of their constituents. Pennsylvanians chose a new direction by overwhelmingly supporting Tom Corbett for Governor who as Attorney General answered the call for repeal by joining 27 other states to fight for citizens’ rights by challenging ObamaCare’s constitutionality.
“This is one example of many where Republicans have stood with Pennsylvanians to voice loud opposition to reckless spending, excessive taxes, and irresponsible government. Pennsylvania’s delegation to Congress – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and Congressmen Mike Kelly, G.T. Thompson, Jim Gerlach, Pat Meehan, Mike Fitzpatrick, Bill Shuster, Tom Marino, Lou Barletta, Charlie Dent, Joe Pitts, Tim Murphy, Todd Platts – continue to display real leadership by opposing the government’s takeover of healthcare which destroys jobs, raises taxes, interferes in the patient and doctor relationship, and spends even more money we don’t have.”
The Republican Governors Association sent out a list of anti-Obamacare statements from every GOP Governor, including Corbett’s (relatively) tame quote.
“The Federal health care law does not adequately address the costs of health care,” read Corbett’s statement. “Not addressing medical liability reform to stop frivolous lawsuits and to prevent defensive medicine was a major shortcoming of the law.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee took the opportunity it blast Senator Bob Casey, who voted for the law.
“The health care law’s one-year anniversary is a stark reminder to Pennsylvanians that when it mattered most, Senator Casey ignored their concerns and helped President Obama ram his costly overhaul into law on a straight party line,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond.
“As Casey attempts to promote himself as fiscally responsible in advance of his reelection bid, voters won’t forget that his health care law actually raises federal deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s clear that Pennsylvanians will hold Casey accountable at the polls for his broken promises and costly, partisan Washington record.”