Yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives voted for literally the 31st time to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the historic comprehensive health reform bill passed by Congress in 2010. That’s more times than Kim Kardashian fixes her makeup each day, and something a crazy scientist named Einstein would have called ""insanity".
In the end, the House voted 244-185 to repeal the PPACA, along (mostly) party lines that were almost as sharp as the one Brad Pitt drew when Angelina wanted to adopt another kid. As the issue now makes its way to the Senate to have its fate decided, everyone is looking into their magic crystal balls to try to guess what Majority Leader Harry Reid will do. Things haven’t been this tense in Washington since the Wizards last made the playoffs in 2007.
Before members of the GOP embarked on yet another fruitful endeavor to get rid of the law, Representative Al Green (D-TX) spoke candidly on the floor about the Republicans’ lack of a replacement bill for the PPACA. Though GOP representatives have insisted that they will come up with something as long as Obama’s bill is repealed, it’s unlikely that they will propose anything in an election year at the risk of alienating voters.
That being said, with Mitt Romney desperately fighting off criticisms that his own Massachusetts version of health reform bears striking similarities with the PPACA, it’s natural to ask what we may expect from the Republicans should they ever push out a reform bill of their own.
Romney’s campaign website lists a couple of major reforms he will enact “on his first day in office.” Apparently, Romney is unlike the rest of us who only have 24 hours in a day and can accomplish in one sunset and sunrise what took Democrats months. He promises to return the power of reforming health care to the states so that each can decide for itself what is best instead of having the federal government mess around. Since most states have done so well in managing their own versions of Medicaid, which covers and pays the least across the board out of all types of insurance, having 50 health care reform laboratories is sure to be effective.
The GOP at large also has its own agenda to pursue. It wants to prevent insurance companies from denying or dropping coverage to those who have preexisting conditions, as that would greatly reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Once representatives push this novel idea onto the national platform, millions of constituents are sure to ask themselves how the Obama Administration missed this piece of genius while drafting and passing the PPACA. (Hint: they actually didn’t miss it.)
In related news, the website also states that Obama’s “job-killing” health care law was repealed by the House in January 2011. This had Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts scratching his well-shampooed hair wondering why he just wrote a 59-page opinion on a law that was repealed 18 months ago, with Justice Antonin Scalia breathing a sigh of relief as he realizes he’ll never be forced by the government to buy a product; as it turns out, he doesn’t even like broccoli.
Knowing the Republicans, their health reform plan will probably also cut off resources for abortions. Never mind that the procedure’s national legality was settled by SCOTUS in 1973, is one of the most commonly performed in America, and already imposes high out-of-pocket costs on patients, the GOP will inevitably still try and prevent any devil’s incarnate from “terminating” an unborn child.
Regardless of what provisions may potentially make its way into RomneyCare, the coming months are sure to be filled with the exciting kind of political theater that the House Republicans put on yesterday. With House Speaker John Boehner’s vow to “do everything we can to stop it,” Americans can be rest assured that Congress will be vigilantly tackling this highly unpopular bill that 41% of the public supports and 41% condemns, according to the most recent polls. Because who knows? After all, there’s always a small chance Harry Reid will decide that this whole universal health care business was so 2010.