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Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said Republicans will not stop until the health care law is repealed, calling it, in her words, "the crown jewel of socialism.".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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs