The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 245-189 to repeal the health care bill heavily criticized by many in Washington. All House Republicans, including 1st Congressional District Representative Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, voted for the repeal. Three Democrats, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, voted with Republicans.
The biggest and most consistent point of contention between lawmakers during Wednesday’s debate was the claim that the legislature saves the country, and taxpayers, money said 1st Congressional District Representative Tim Huelskamp.
“There remains fundamentally a difference in opinion,” Huelskamp said. “One side remained that wanted to keep the law and there were folks like me that absolutely oppose the idea of a government-controlled system.”
The measure now goes to the Senate, where it will face tough opposition, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has publicly stated he does not want the bill to see the Senate floor. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has, on the other hand, urged senators to follow the House’s lead and said he intends to bring the repeal to a vote.
Huelskamp said despite Reid’s claim, he believes through the Senate’s amendment process, the Senators will vote on the bill.
Thursday will start the rebuilding and replacement process for House members. Committees will begin putting together alternative ideas.
Litigation reform, credits to purchase health care for the self-employed and the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines are all ideas Huelskamp said he supports and would like to see made law.
“My approach to health care is pretty simple,” Huelskamp said. “We need more patient-centered care that brings in more personal responsibility that puts patients in charge of their health care.”
Other provisions, such as the 1099 tax form requirement, have the potential to hurt small business owners and negatively impact the state and nation’s economy.
“That would be a huge paperwork hit for business owners,” Huelskamp said. The former state senator testified against the tax requirement and the complete repeal of the law Wednesday.
Despite other issues, such as the nation’s mounting debt, the war in Afghanistan and a struggling economy, Huelskamp said health care will remain on the forefront of many lawmakers’ minds not only because of the repeal health care bill but because of the struggling financial situation of both Medicare and Medicaid, which will add to the mounting debt load.