Health Care Showdown

pre exist conditsMy friend Jan is a breast cancer survivor. To her, Obamacare has been a godsend. A key provision of the health care act prevents insurers from rejecting her as they could before the law was passed.

To Jan – and millions of other Americans with “preexisting conditions” – the law is literally a matter of life and death.

Obscenely, to the Republicans in Congress it’s a political football. They have voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. But they have been foiled by Democrats in the Senate.

Yesterday, for the first time, the Senate passed a budget bill that would effectively repeal the law. The House is sure to rubber stamp the legislation, sending it to the President’s desk.

Of course he will veto it.

To override the veto, Republicans need 60 votes in the Senate, and yesterday’s vote was 52-47 so I imagine the veto will stand.

But while Jan – and others in her situation – might breathe a sigh of relief, the threat of repeal will not be ended. If Republicans win Congress and the White House next November, it’s goodbye Obamacare.

House Speaker Paul Ryan leaves no doubt of that. In his first major address as speaker, Ryan told an audience at the Library of Congress yesterday:

There are many things to do, but most urgent is to repeal and replace Obamacare. We think this problem is so urgent that, next year, we are going to unveil a plan to replace every word of Obamacare.

Repeal of the health care law will be part of  “a complete alternative to the left’s agenda,” he said.

I’m sure I don’t have to describe the rest of the Ryan agenda. We’ve heard about it before. It includes disastrous cuts to welfare, a voucher system for Medicare and other  assaults on country’s social safety net, abandonment of the environment, handouts to Big Business and more freedom for Wall Street to loot and plunder.

It should be a compelling reason to get out and vote for the Democrats. If not for yourself and your kids, at least for my friend Jan.

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