Now that Republicans have regained control of the House, is health reform doomed?
In a poll conducted online at the Wall Street Journal, 84 percent of respondents said that the health care overhaul was a factor in their Nov. 2 vote. With Republicans winning a majority of House seats relatively easily, the public has clearly made their feelings on fiscal policy and health care reform heard.
House and Senate Republicans already have written at least 30 bills to scale back provisions in the law. But while conservatives are eager to start slicing and dicing, political experts say that not much may happen in the next two years.
It will be a big political battle, and bills will have to originate in the House. But Democrats still control the Senate, so once the bills are ushered over there for debate, they’re likely to get stalled. Which means that a full-on repeal of reform is out of the question – if the Senate didn’t strike it down, the president most certainly would.
But there are other ways the GOP can chip away at the legislation. They can send individual mandates through the line that strike down some of the law’s most unpopular provisions. Even with control over only one chamber of Congress, Republicans still get to decide on some appropriations. And boy does the Affordable Care Act need some money.
For now, though, the most likely originator for repeal seems to be the courts. Last month, a federal judge in Florida ruled that a suit filed by the state’s Attorney General, Bill McCollum, should go ahead. McCollum was joined by the governors or Attorneys General of 19 other US states. A full hearing on the constitutional issues thrown up by the legislation will be held on December 16. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed a similar case, and it’s likely that at least one of these suits will make it to the Supreme Court.
So where do you stand on reform? Do you think a vote for repeal needs to happen – as some of the new Republican guns in Washington are hoping for – or will the piecemeal solution work just as well? Or would you rather see the PPACA stay intact? Comment below and let us know!