Two days ago, July 11 2012, was the 33rd time the Republican controlled House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
My arrival to Washington DC coincided with the day Obamacare was historically upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court; a great day for many, one of great dismay for others – Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner was left particularly embarrassed having sent around a memo urging his members not to gloat upon it being struck down. It was certainly a successful day of non-gloating for the Republicans.
The awesome hypocrisy of the right-wing’s incessant opposition, is that the Affordable Care Act was originally a Republican ideology. Not only was it similarly entitled, ‘An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care’ but it was none other than Mitt Romney himself as the governor of Massachusetts, who initially endorsed this healthcare mandate.
Six years later Mittromney.com boldly describes the health care act as a ‘government takeover’ - something largely ironic considering the government will not have control over insurance rates. This is due to the fact private insurance companies will uphold independent control, so although making health insurance a compulsory purchase will essentially subsidise the extortionate rates, ultimately the private nature of the insurance companies means the government has limited interference. Laying health insurance in the hands of private companies has Republican shaped ideology written across its elephant’s forehead – you would think. But no, the Republicans of today seem to be ever more misguided by a Sat Nav that only mandates right-turns; subsequently leading them to view their previous right wing ideas as socialist, of all things.
The most amusing stint nonetheless, occurred when Romney responded to the success of Obamacare with his ‘Repeal and Replace’ speech which portrayed a frighteningly familiar vision for the future of American healthcare. In an almost deja vu mannerism, he declared the so called replacement policies to be “making sure that people who want to keep their current insurance can do so” and “assuring that every American has access to affordable health care”. Perhaps the best way of learning more about these “replacement” policies would be to read through Obamacare.
So whilst the Republican’s 33rd health care repeal attempt may remind us of their relentless determination to be rid of Obamacare, their entire effort bares of nothing more than petty partisan politics, particularly considering Mitt seemingly plans to replicate rather than replace what is already in motion.