PDT Staff Writer
For the 37th time the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal or defund the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is now in the final months before full implementation on Jan. 1. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH2) was one of those who voted for the full repeal.
The repeal measure was authored by Representative Michele Bachmann, former Republican presidential candidate and Tea Party leader, who sought to link health care reform to an Internal Revenue Service scandal that is threatening to undermine Obama’s second-term agenda. Wenstrup, a cosponsor of H.R. 45, has been active in working to repeal provisions of the law since his support of Ohio’s Health Care Freedom Amendment in 2011. As a doctor of 26 years and a combat surgeon in the U.S. Army Reserve, Wenstrup said he knows first-hand the challenges that Obamacare poses for both patients and doctors.
“The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor provides adequate care for Americans,” Wenstrup said. “As a physician, I know our health care system is broken, but Washington meddling only makes it worse. No law should insert a government bureaucrat between a patient and their doctor.”
House Resolution 45 passed by a bipartisan vote of 229 to 195, which Wenstrup says reflects the sentiment of the 65 percent of Americans who do not have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act. Going forward, Wenstrup said he will continue working toward solutions that will lower costs and improve care for all Americans.
Like previous attempts to dismantle the law, the measure will likely go nowhere in the Democratic-run Senate.
“Three years after enactment, the Affordable Care Act has raised premiums, increased health care costs, and added burdensome regulations to the nation’s health care system. At a time of continued economic uncertainty, American families and small businesses simply cannot afford the financial burden imposed by this law,” Wenstrup said. “The president’s health care law puts too much control in the hands of the federal government, creating a complex system that emphasizes government intrusion over actual patient care.”
For Republicans who hope to make Obamacare a winning campaign issue in the 2014 congressional midterm elections, the action gave House freshmen their first chance to vote against a law that is unpopular with a large number of voters, particularly conservatives in their districts back home.
“A full repeal is needed to keep this law from doing more damage to our economy and raising health care costs,” House Speaker John Boehner said.
Democrats poked fun at the latest repeal vote.
“Apparently, the Republicans are opposed to Obamacare,” Representative Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat said. “I know that comes as a shock to America, so we need to tell them one more time. Or 37 times, or maybe a 38th or a 39th or a 40th or a 100th time.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.