Republicans are threatening to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as part of their “A Pledge to America” proposal. On the six-month anniversary of healthcare reform’s enactment, House Republicans issued their “Pledge” , which proposes overturning the law and replacing it with “real reforms” focusing on medical liability reforms to control “junk lawsuits” and defensive medicine. Other elements of the “Pledge” would expand health saving accounts; ban taxpayer funding of abortion; allow people to buy insurance across state lines; assure access for patients with pre-existing conditions by expanding state high-risk pools and reinsurance programs; as well as cutting the cost of coverage.
According to Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president for special projects, “The (Republicans’) agenda claims to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but it repeals the new law’s ban on discriminating against uninsured Americans, including children who have a pre-existing condition. It will mean that seniors will pay more for their prescription drugs, and their new free preventive Medicare benefits will be cut.”
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, noted that the GOP proposal “will raise taxes by more than $40 billion on up to four million small businesses that provide health benefits to their employees…and will result in premium increases by eliminating the billions of dollars in cost-saving measures.”
Democratic lawmakers assailed the “Pledge” as recycled ideas that will only intensify the nation’s problems. “Republicans want to return to the same failed economic policies that hurt millions of Americans and threatened our economy,” said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Even if Republicans vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama still has the power to veto their legislation. It’s likely that he would use his veto power to protect one of his major legislative achievements.