A vote in the U.S. House reportedly is scheduled for the coming week aimed at repealing ObamaCare – the Affordable Health-Care Act – in its entirety.
The measure, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., speaks volumes for the conservative right and for many USA taxpayers who already were distressed by the federal tax burden before ObamaCare became law. (The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that ObamaCare will cost U.S. taxpayers upward of $1.5 trillion over the next decade — or $1.5 billion annually for the next 10 years. Moreover, despite numerous new tax measures, there’s no guaranteed source of tax revenue to offset a good portion of this cost.)
However, Byrne’s bill likely will amount to little more than a voice crying out in the wilderness of government overreach and mounting public-sector red tape. Why? Because even if the House and the U.S. Senate approve the measure, President Barak Obama will veto it. Moreover, even though Republicans hold majorities in both houses of Congress, veto overrides require a two-thirds majority vote – numbers not likely attainable on this particular bill dealing with the centerpiece of Obama’s pending legacy.
One flaw in the House GOP’s strategy lies in a provision within Byrne’s bill itself. That clause instructs the appropriate House committees to offer – once the repeal of ObamaCare is secured — an alternative solution to provide affordable health care to low-income and poverty-level Americans. Would it not make sense to already have such an alternative solution already vetted and waiting in the wings for an immediate vote?
On the plus side, even if it’s just a trial balloon, Byrne’s bill is a quite palatable initiative that’s preferable to an alternate GOP plan to dismantle ObamaCare piecemeal and surgically reshape the law one section at a time to fix what’s broke. That would be confusing, counterproductive, time-consuming and possibly even duplicitous.
As Byrne candidly stated this week: “ObamaCare is beyond repair.”
While the so-called Affordable Health-Care Bill was being proposed and debated, congressional Republicans put several viable alternative proposals on the table. All were rejected by a Democrat-controlled Congress focused on winning political battles, not on the needs and interests of the broad American public and the taxpayers in particular.
Hopefully the remnants of these plans can be resurrected and quickly fashioned into a measure that will more sensibly address “affordable” health care, without driving doctors’ offices and small-business owners nuts.