By Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) - 05/13/13 11:33 PM EDT
When President Obama and Congressional Democrats drafted their healthcare reform law, ObamaCare, they front-loaded what they considered “popular” provisions in order to make it more palatable to the American public before the rest of the law would take effect in 2014. These provisions included allowing “children” up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance plan and creating an underfunded insurance pool for people with preexisting conditions.
How did this front-loaded plan fare? Well, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, ObamaCare today remains deeply unpopular among Americans, with only 35 percent holding a favorable view of the law. This should be very concerning to Democrats, and reports of Senate Democrats voicing their frustration and concerns with the law have been streaming into the news. One of the bill’s chief architects, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), even went as far as to predict a coming “train wreck” for implementation of the law, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) echoed that sentiment days later.
Recently, it was even reported that members of Congress were looking for ways to carve out an exemption from the law for themselves and their staffs. I will oppose any such efforts, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made it clear that he will not sneak any legislation into bills to solve the Democrats’ healthcare problems. Democrats in Congress are now realizing what Americans and businesses across the country already knew — this law is going to severely affect their own healthcare options. Rather than carve out an exemption for themselves, why not exempt all Americans from this coming train wreck?
House Republicans are preparing to once again vote on a full repeal of this disastrous healthcare law. Some will chastise this as a futile exercise, but it is not. A recent Fox News poll found that even 56 percent of Democrats nationwide now find the 15,000-plus pages of ObamaCare regulations “way over the top.” Congress has now had the chance to see first-hand how flawed this bill is, and this will give members in the House an opportunity to change their position. Furthermore, this will give freshman Republicans and Democrats an opportunity to show where they stand on the issue.
That Kaiser poll also found that 49 percent of Americans say they don’t have enough information yet to understand how ObamaCare will affect their own families. This should terrify proponents of the bill. Since the popular provisions were front-loaded, what is left to come are penalties, premium hikes, less jobs, reduced hours and a decline in the quality of our healthcare. This makes it difficult to see how the law becomes more popular over time.
So, with everything we know now about the law, do Democrats still support ObamaCare? Let’s find out.
Marchant is a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.