Commentary: GOP’s health care hypocrisy
Last week, House Republicans voted unanimously to repeal the health care reform law. At the same time, they also voted to keep their taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, which offers many of the same protections they’ve elected to deny Americans who are struggling to afford and keep their health coverage.
House Republicans blocked an amendment introduced by Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) that would force lawmakers to forfeit their federal employee health benefits if they vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“Whether you believe in the repeal of the [health care] law or the upholding of the law, you ought to believe in the basic principle that when we write a law around here, we should live by that law the same way everyone else does,” Andrews explained. “Supporters of repeal should live by the same consequences that everyone will live by if they succeed in repealing the law.”
Andrews pointed out that repealing the Affordable Care Act would leave millions of Americans defenseless against insurance company abuses, such as denying coverage to children with pre-existing health conditions, charging significantly higher premiums for women, or imposing lifetime or annual policy limits for people suffering from cancer or other catastrophic health problems.
Andrews maintained that it is unfair for lawmakers to create a double standard that allows them to enjoy protections against pre-existing conditions and gender and age-based discrimination and receive generous prescription drug benefits when those safeguards are being taken away from taxpayers.
“If you believe in the law that you’re going to vote for today, then vote to live under it as well,” said Andrews.
In the end, not a single Republican who voted to repeal the health care law voted to live by the same consequences they sought to impose on others. All 239 House Republicans voted against Andrews’ amendment. Ten minutes later, they all voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Rob Andrews proposes amendment to strip away lawmakers’ taxpayer-subsidized health care
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Eric Cantor opposes Andrews’ amendment to eliminate lawmakers’ taxpayer-subsidized health care
- WhatTheFolly.com: Full text of Rep. Rob Andrews’ amendment to H.R. 6079 Repeal Obamacare Act of 2012
- WhatTheFolly.com: House Republicans repeal health care law for the 33rd time
- Clerk.House.gov: Final vote results for Roll Call #459
- Thomas.LOC.gov: H.R. 6079 Repeal of Obamacare Act