Health Care

Friday marked the two-year anniversary of what has become known as “Obamacare,” the federal government’s health care system overhaul that was designed to provide coverage for all Americans.

Affordable health care for everyone – it’s a noble idea that became a campaign promise during President Obama’s first presidential run. The issue became a political hot topic when Democrats in Washington forced the massive bill through by majority despite Republican protests. While the desire to implement health care reforms has remained universal, the form in which it was presented and passed two years ago has remained polarizing.

In fact, parts of the health care law are being reviewed by the nation’s high court starting today to determine if they are unconstitutional.

Regardless of whether or not parts of the law are repealed, the topic will likely become a key point of debate during this year’s presidential campaign, and some lawmakers are making it a point to keep “Obamacare” on the minds of voters.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) and fellow House Republicans voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board – part of the health care overhaul. The IPAB is a “board of 15 unelected government bureaucrats” that would make health care decisions and ultimately ration health care, according to Johnson, who stressed that doctors and patients should make health care decisions, not the government or this panel.

“This is wrong,” Johnson stressed, noting that GOP members of the House have voted to repeal this “denial of health care board” 26 times now. That’s dedication.

Johnson said President Obama promised Americans that the health care measure would create jobs, lower costs and allow everyone to keep their own doctor. So far, none of these promises have been kept, Johnson said, stating that more than 40 percent of small businesses say the health care law is keeping them from growing their businesses and hiring more employees.

Reports show that the health care law will cost $1.7 trillion over 10 years and will actually cut Medicare by $500 billion, placing 26,000 people in Johnson’s congressional district at risk of losing health care services, he said.

There will continue to be a considerable push to have “Obamacare” repealed entirely, but all lawmakers should agree with Congressman Johnson that if this happens, it must be replaced with common sense, patient-centered solutions that put patients and doctors in control, not “unelected government bureaucrats in Washington.”