By David Greene |
Within two weeks of the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate (which Chief Justice John Roberts argued was a legal as a tax), the House of Representatives has scheduled another vote to repeal the healthcare law. This is the 31st time the House has voted to repeal or defund parts or all of the law since its 2010 passage. The repeal is expected to pass the Republican-led House only to die in the Democratic-led Senate, thus making the vote largely a political statement rather than a realistic stab at changing policy.
Nevertheless, the vote will keep the debate around the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, at the forefront of the national political discourse, as it has been since well before the Supreme Court decision. Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has campaigned against it, even though it is similar to the healthcare law he enacted as governor of Massachusetts. President Obama stands by the law, even though some polls show that over half of Americans oppose it.
Opponents of the law say that it will harm the economy, add to the deficit, and cause the price of healthcare to rise, rather than fall. Supporters argue that the law greatly expands access to healthcare and will over time lower government spending while boosting the economy. Should Congress repeal the Affordable Care Act? Here is the Debate Club's take.
Maura Calsyn Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress
Ethan Rome Executive Director of Health Care for America Now
Ron Pollack Founding Executive Director of Families USA
Nina Owcharenko Director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies
Mitt Romney Republican Candidate for President