Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says this week’s debate on the repeal of the healthcare overhaul law will give his party a second chance to promote the bill.
Many members of the new House Republican majority say the law is too expensive. They also oppose the provision that requires everyone to own insurance. Yarmuth, who favors the law, says the repeal debate will give he and like-minded Democrats the opportunity to discuss the legislation more clearly than they could when it was first up for a vote.
“The real problem—one of many—with the process of passing that healthcare reform act was we never knew what we needed to talk about until the bill was actually passed, because, ultimately, the Senate changed a lot of things at the very last minute,” he says. “We couldn’t really go to the average American citizen and say, ‘Here’s what it means to you.’ Now we can do that and we can plan to continue do that and, more importantly, the President has made it clear to us that he intends to do that.”
Yarmuth says the repeal is symbolic and unlikely to advance in the Senate. Proponents of the overhaul defend the mandate to own insurance as a necessity, since pre-existing conditions will be eliminated under the law. In regard to cost, Yarmuth cites a Congressional Budget Office report that says the repeal would cost money, rather than save it.