News / USA

House Republicans Challenge President Obama on Health Care

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., center, speaks about the upcoming vote to repeal the health care bill during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, flanked by other GOP House representatives, 19 Jan, 2011
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., center, speaks about the upcoming vote to repeal the health care bill during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, flanked by other GOP House representatives, 19 Jan, 2011

Multimedia

Cindy Saine

The new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has voted by 245 to 189 to repeal President Barack Obama’s top legislative accomplishment, health care reform. Democrats defended the new law, saying it protects Americans from the unfair practices of some insurance companies. Republicans called the law a "government take-over" of health care.

Most Republican lawmakers campaigned against President Obama’s health care law, calling it "Obamacare" ahead of the November midterm elections, when Republicans took back majority control of the House but not the Senate. House Republicans made good on their campaign promises to voters by voting to repeal the law, and they were joined by three Democratic lawmakers.

Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said Republicans will not stop until the health care law is repealed, calling it, in her words, "the crown jewel of socialism.".

Related video report by Carolyn Presutti


"This is not symbolic, this is why we're sent here and we will not stop until we repeal a president and put a president in the position of the White House who will repeal this bill.,” she said.

Republican efforts to repeal the law outright are virtually certain to fail now, because Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid says he will not even bring health care repeal to a vote in the Senate. President Obama has also stated that he would veto any repeal bill that comes to his desk. The president says he is willing to work with
both Democrats and Republicans to improve certain aspects of the law, but called on Republicans not to "go backwards" and urged them not to take away the increased security for Americans he says the law provides. The law, when it is fully implemented, will bar insurance companies from refusing coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions and will extend health insurance to more than 30 million currently uninsured Americans.

New Jersey Democratic Representative Rush Holt said the law ushers in a new era.

"The law insures that health insurance companies actually have to provide health insurance, not just in name,” he said. “But it requires that they spend your premium dollars on actually providing health care."

But most of the Republican lawmakers voiced concerns about the costs of implementing the law, including Republican Representative Todd Rokita of Indiana.

"Health care is not a right, and if we are not careful the 'feel good' empty promises made in this law will bankrupt our country, and leave our grandkids to pay for it,” he said.

Republicans say if they cannot repeal the law as long as Mr. Obama is president, they will try to cut off funding for implementation.  The controversial issue of reforming America’s health care system has dominated Congress for much of the past two years. Democrats finally managed to pass health care reform legislation though both houses of Congress almost one year ago.

Public opinion polls show that the Americans are also divided over the law, with about 48 percent currently opposing it, and about 40 percent supporting it. Both Democrats and Republicans are seeking to sway public opinion over to their side of the issue.



You May Like

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Crowdfunding Helps Save Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit

Smithsonian turns to Kickstarter to raise more than $700,000 to help preserve the spacesuit worn by the first man to walk on the moon More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs