The signing into law of the recent healthcare reform bill by President Obama was considered to be a historic landmark in the context of the national healthcare system. The president told a jubilant crowd gathered at the East Room of the white house that “We have now just enshrined … the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.” The signing into law of this bill came as a result of the House passing the legislation by a vote of two hundred and nineteen to two hundred and twelve. The results of the tally revealed that all the republicans were opposed to the bill and so were 34 democrats. Prior to the passing of this bill introduced by president Obama and aimed at bringing a revolution in the country’s entire healthcare system, the Democrats had to contend with fierce opposition from the republicans.
This law simply entails affordable health insurance access to an estimated 32 million American citizens. “This law also entails the punishing of employers who fail to offer insurance coverage to their employees as well as the punishing of individuals who fail to get themselves insurance coverage as stipulated by the law”(Mahar,2006). This law is seen to be very economically balanced as it provides subsidies for low income earners as well as prohibiting insurers from denying insurance coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.
The democrats who were strong proponents of the healthcare bill are presumably individuals who believe in the notion that the government was formed by the people, comprise of the people and should be for the people. This is one idea that Democrats strive so hard to support. In an individual context, Democrats believe that American citizens have a right to everything they wish and should not encounter any interference from the federal government or form other citizens. The passing into law of the healthcare reforms bill fits in the ideological pattern of the Democrats in that American system have a right to everything and particularly a good health system.
However, the Democrats faced very strong opposition from the Republicans who argued that the negative impact of the bill on the overall economy surpasses the benefits. This fits on the party’s ideological pattern that has been that of having a large government for the people and perhaps a relatively smaller government for corporations. The Republican approach to the healthcare reform bill was more on the economic approach rather than the real impact of the law on the U.S. healthcare system. “According to the republicans, the proposed health care bill now a law would weigh heavily on the U.S. economy (Harshaw, 2010). Republicans have since vowed to repel the law with stating that the law would eventually crumble due to the weakening Democrats and public support.
Despite the previous months having strong support for repel of the health care law, the figure has since declined to a figure below 50%. According to most surveys, about 47% of U.S. citizens are in favor of repealing the law. However, 42% are rather opposed to the idea of repealing the law citing that such action would jeopardize the reform agenda in the healthcare system. There has also been a significant decline in the number of voters who believe that the health care law will be bad for the country with the number falling to 45% down from 52% in the previous week. There are also a small percentage of individuals who view the as not having any significant impact on the country.
According to Reid, those opposed to the health care law argue that the implementation of the law will lead to an increase in taxes, lead to penalizing of small enterprises that can’t afford to offer their employees health coverage and also lead the federal government to a rather very big role in the health care system(Reid,2009). Critics also argue that the bill is unconstitutional and will lead to a series of lawsuits to stop the implementation of this law. Earlier, a federal judge in Florida had responded to a lawsuit filed by a human right group terming the health care law as being unconstitutional. The judge cited that the congress had exceeded its authority by requiring each and every individual to buy health insurance. However, there seems to be a legal balance where two federal courts have termed the law as being unconstitutional while at the same time two other federal courts have found the law to be in line with the U.S. constitution.
According to Stolberg, the main reason why the health care law is termed as unconstitutional is as a result of the fact that the law violates the Commerce Clause and fails to point out the role of the federal government in certain institutional procedures (The New York Times). This is further complicated by the unconstitutional mandate requiring people to buy insurance cover the more reason why the entire law must be declared void. However, there are also those who differ from this perspective citing the Affordable Care Act which is in line with the constitution.
Defenders of the health care law argue that Americans citizens need to be protected from ruthless insurers who fail to insure people who have pre-existing medical conditions or children with illnesses. These insurers also go further to charge exorbitant prices for insurance coverage irrespective of the income distribution among various individuals. According to me, the healthcare law’s negative impacts on the overall economy surpass the benefits. The entire health care reform procedure will undoubtedly weigh on the government in terms of cost thus leading to an increase in government deficit.