When Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin said that it’s time to change President Obama’s healthcare reform law, Obamacare, it riled up a few feathers on the right. Durbin, who is the number two Democrat in the Senate, was asked if he’s concerned about the recent announcement that Obamacare’s employer mandate would be delayed for one year. Durbin responded that it’s time to “change and improve” Obamacare. The response from the right was not unexpected given the number of times House Republicans have voted to repeal the law; they said ‘just scrap it’ and make Obamacare go away.
Today, House Republicans are meeting to debate actions that should (or should not?) take place in order to move ahead on immigration reform. The Senate has already passed their version of a sweeping reform bill and it’s now the House’s turn. Many of our lawmakers appear to be leaning towards granting some level of legal status for the millions of undocumented immigrants already here illegally but, based on the level of dissent among House Speaker John Boehner’s party, what and how the issue is resolved is very unclear. If there’s one thing about which they are certain, they want nothing to do with the Senate’s version, and many d not appear concerned with that GOP rebranding effort that includes outreach to the Latino community. The answer to the question of the senate bill? Just scrap it.
Deadlines for two important pieces of Obamacare have been delayed a year but the Supreme Court has already ruled on the law’s legality. The law has made a difference in the lives of previously uninsured people and those who were facing lifetime caps on insurance coverage. Additionally, places in which governors have faithfully set up insurance exchanges and have expanded Medicare coverage, with no hit to their state budget, are seeing the benefits of the law. It’s not going away. So when House Republicans and those shrill, bleating voices from the right fringes waste more time and money trying to rid the nation of the law rather than work to tweak it so it benefits all, they’re doing a disservice to all.
Regarding immigration, the dilemma of trying to start all over while working within the confines of an already broken system serves no purpose other than pushing a xenophobic ideologue’s agenda. The Senate version of the reform bill contains the border security provisions that the GOP said was the sticking point in moving forward. So what’s the problem now?
It seems that when the issues can’t be fixed, the modus operandi is to say that everything should be scrapped — start all over. And then nothing is accomplished, and time and energy is wasted.
Perhaps that has been the goal of House Republicans all along. Stay stagnant.
If that’s the case then they should be “fixed” in 2014.