Jerry Moore: Fixing Health Care Law is Series of Baby Steps
Western suburbs — No one expected Republicans to celebrate the first anniversary of Obamacare, and they didn’t let anyone down.
This makes perfect sense. The controversial bill was passed without a single Republican vote. And from the looks of it, no Republican has grown one iota fonder of the law in the past year.
That’s good. The law has many drawbacks. The biggest question remains whether the mandate that everyone obtain health insurance is constitutional.
The other major issue is how the law will be financed. Proponents said reducing inefficiencies will save a substantial amount of money, which is true. But the law is horribly complicated, and parts of it are bound to greatly exceed initial cost estimates. A local legislator has identified one item expected to increase the deficit in the future.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd District, of Western Springs was one of 34 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against the bill. He said most constituents in his district supported his decision to oppose the legislation. If there’s one topic they still want to discuss with him, this is it, he said.
Lipinski became a co-sponsor last month of the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act, House Resolution 1173, which would strike a portion of the health care law. In a news release his office recently issued, he said the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act will balloon the federal deficit after two decades. The release cited several government sources, including the Congressional Budget Office, in pointing out this portion of the law will be financially unsustainable.
It’s clear that the nation’s health care system needs significant reform, and parts of the law are designed to do this. However, weaknesses with the law will eventually overshadow any of its strengths.
Lipinski was on target a few months ago when he said members of Congress should work to reform the law, not merely repeal it. It may take several years, but lawmakers must resolve the flaws.
I’ve previously written that health care reform must be passed in manageable pieces. Taking the time to implement measures like Lipinski’s new bill is what’s needed to make health care reform work for everyone.
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