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Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said Republicans will not stop until the health care law is repealed, calling it, in her words, "the crown jewel of socialism.".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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid