Don McKee: House vote to repeal Obamacare not merely symbolic
by Don McKee
January 21, 2011 12:00 AM | 1314 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
The vote by the U.S. House to repeal the federal health care law is widely viewed in the media as merely symbolic because it can't pass the Senate and even if it did, President Obama would veto it.

Calling the vote symbolic is one way of trying to diminish its importance. To the contrary, it was a real vote, 245-189, cast by a solid Republican bloc joined by three Democrats that got the message from the recent election giving the GOP control of the House.

"Repeal means keeping a promise," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said in his floor speech. "This is what we said we would do."

Promise made. Promise kept. That's respecting the will of the American people who voted out the Democrat majority in the House and knocked off some Senate Dems as well. Much of the dissatisfaction came from the way Obama and his congressional lieutenants rammed the health care bill through, disdaining the will of the people.

People don't like the overreaching, intrusive mandates in the health care law, and the majority spoke through their representatives in Congress. On that point, Boehner cited a letter signed by 200 economists and others, among them two former Congressional Budget Office directors, calling for repeal of the health care law.

The health care law "is a threat to U.S. businesses and will place a crushing debt burden on future generations of Americans," said the letter released by the American Action Forum. The law "contains expensive mandates and penalties that create major barriers to stronger job growth," the economists and experts said.

"The law also levies roughly $500 billion in new taxes that will enter the supply chain for medical services, raising the cost of medical services ... these medical costs will translate to higher insurance premiums, further increasing the cost of operating a business in the United States."

The letter labeled the new law "fiscally dangerous at a moment when the United States is already facing a sea of red ink." And: "At a minimum, it will add $1 trillion to government spending over the next decade. Assertions that these costs are paid for are based on omitted costs, budgetary gimmicks, shifted premiums from other entitlements and unsustainable spending cuts and revenue increases."

"A more comprehensive and realistic projection suggests" that the law "could potentially raise the federal budget deficit by more than $500 billion during the first 10 years and by nearly $1.5 billion in the following decade."

Signers of the letter included a half-dozen Georgia economists including Christine Ries of Georgia Tech, Gerald Gay of Georgia State, Paul H. Rubin of Emory, Jeffrey Dorfman of the University of Georgia, E. F. Stephenson of Berry College, and Timothy Mathews of Kennesaw State.

Next the House Republicans will come up with a reasonable health care bill. Senate Republicans will try to get a vote on ObamaCare repeal. Even if they cannot, there's plenty that can be done - such as not appropriating money for implementing the law.
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