Now that President Obama has secured reelection, his landmark health care reform law is here to stay. But that doesn’t stop Republican leaders in Congress from continuing their crusade against Obamacare, which they have already wasted over 80 hours and more than $50 million dollars trying to repeal.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is already looking ahead to 2013 and the so-called “fiscal cliff,” when House Republicans will likely continue to resist any revenue increases in favor of deep cuts to the social programs that protect the most vulnerable Americans. And Cantor is making it clear that includes slashing funding for critical health care programs like Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid:
While it is unrealistic for us to expect the President to embrace our vision of Medicare reform or Obamacare repeal, it is equally unrealistic for the President to continue to insist that Obamacare is off the table, or that Medicare and Medicaid require nothing more than some additional provider cuts. We will measure entitlement savings on the basis of whether they are sustainable and whether they actually bend down the cost curve.
But Cantor’s position is not actually in line with the majority of Americans’ preferences for the future of their health care programs. The majority of Americans would choose to raise revenue, particularly by increasing taxes on the rich, rather than slashing health care programs like Medicare. A full 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with their current Medicare plans, and majorities of American voters supported President Obama’s policies on Medicare in the lead-up to the election.
And while Cantor acknowledges that Obama himself likely won’t embrace the Republican vision of Obamacare repeal, that’s true for the rest of the country as well — voters have largely disagreed with the GOP push to repeal Obamacare, and would much rather keep the law in place and change it as necessary. Obamacare’s provisions have consistently enjoyed broad support, particularly the parts of the law that prevent discriminating against Americans with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26. In the lead up to the election, seven in ten Americans already thought Obamacare was here to stay.
The House GOP held 30 times more votes on repealing Obamacare than on creating jobs in the past year — revealing their unrelenting focus on fighting against Obamacare at the expense of the rest of their party platform — and they remain insistent on undermining Obama’s health care reform law rather than working toward real economic solutions.