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Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said Republicans will not stop until the health care law is repealed, calling it, in her words, "the crown jewel of socialism.".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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid