Republicans in Congress are at it again. Thursday will mark the 37th vote taken in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act that was set into law in 2010. While elected officials cite public disapproval of the health care law; their repeated attempts suggest a strong case of denial among legislators. Despite Speaker of the House, John Boehner announcing the health care as “law of the land,” his fellow GOP members are clinging strongly to the improbable repeal.
The GOP argues that they are fighting to repeal the “job-killing health care bill” because American’s don’t support the economic effects of the law. However, a recent study conducted by The Kaiser Foundation found that a large number of American’s remain unaware of all components of the law, and the majority wishes to amend it, not de-fund it. Yet despite the preference of constituents, Republicans continue to bring the bill back to a vote, hoping for different results. Republicans should reconsider their approach if they truly wish to make decisions that benefit the country, not only to save their own time, but most importantly to better serve the American people.
If Republicans are truly concerned with the economic consequences of the Affordable Care Act, why are they choosing the most difficult route to do prevent them? Historically, overturning a Supreme Court decision has been extremely difficult with limited constitutional options to repeal the law. While there have been some cases that have been overturned years later, most success for the GOP has been made taking a wider base approach. For example, conservative groups used state level legislation to set records in 2011 for limiting abortion-related services across the United States. Their relentless approach gave them the results, whereas constant voting to repeal a Supreme Court verdict in Congress wastes time, yielding no long-term results.
Bipartisanship, however, would have long-term benefits for the country. Instead of seeking a repeal that is guaranteed to be vetoed by the president, Republicans could look to what their constituents have been calling for. If Republicans want to fix the economy, they could work with Democrats to mollify any potential economic hazards before the law takes full effect this year. Amending the bill through bipartisan compromise will give Americans not only the economic benefits, but the Congress they deserve to have representing them.
So before Republicans schedule their 38th vote, they should reevaluate just what the American people are asking for. Amending the law alongside Democrats could not only prevent the “job-killing” they so deeply fear, but it could remove them from their denial and put them back in sight of what America needs.