8.07.2010

NewsFlash! Health Care Reform was a GOP Idea

I really don't understand the GOP's fierce resistance to the recently passed Health Care Reform Law. Is it because a Democratic president and Congress pushed it through and the GOP did not? Jealousy maybe? No way. I can only conclude it is sheer politics. The "enemy" passed a bill that garnered some resistance in society and now the GOP is playing on that resistance. Classic!

In November, 1993, Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I. introduced a bill that had the exact same universal rule requiring everyone to purchase insurance. The bill was never debated let alone voted upon, but it was a Republican idea. The idea became a reality in Massachusetts when Gov. Mitt Romney-R signed the nations first universal health care bill in 2006. No Republican cried foul in either case.

Furthermore, such staunch defiance runs counter to Republican's business-friendly reputation. One, all businesses would love to have a captive market and universal health care would provide it - for insurance companies. Two, hospitals - which are also businesses - would like to get paid more times than not when they perform services. Three, with everyone paying in to the system, businesses, particularly small businesses will see their health care costs go down. And four, with everyone having insurance, people can afford to go to a doctor or clinic. A healthy labor force is the most productive labor force. There is a reason why hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and many businesses are on board with this idea.... Think about it.

President Obama tried to unite Congress and the country, and he chose the ideal vehicle to do so - a Republican idea - to address a major issue in our society. Instead being heroes, the GOP refused to play and are actively seeking to divide the country, and for what?

Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the GOP simply doesn't see the problem. All Republicans already have insurance. They can afford to get sick. They got theirs, the rest of the world be damned!

Republicans will pick up seats come November, not because they are suddenly the savior of the country, but because a large chunk of Democratic supporters who voted in 2006 and in 2008 won't go to the polls in 2010. If the GOP does obtain a majority in Congress, I hope Obama will not try to pass a bill created by the GOP or any act based upon feedback from the Republicans. It can only turn out badly.

NPR Topics: News