Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus blasted the President Obama's massive overhaul of the nation's health care system Wednesday, one day before the six month anniversary of the bill's passage. The physicians sought to counter the president's positive view of the law at an event in nearby Falls Church, Virginia.
Calling Obama's event a "picnic," Republican legislators said life under the new law has been anything but. "The picnic is over," quipped Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., "61% of the American people remain adamantly opposed to this bill."
Republicans also pointed out that many Democrats are running against the bill in their reelection campaigns. One member said it was no coincidence. "Every 45 to 90 days, the White House announces a new initiative, private or public, to explain this law to the public," said Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., "And right about every time they do that, at the exact same moment in time some new publicity comes out saying how bad it is and often how much more it's going to cost. If you were a Democrat would you run on that?"
Supporters of the legislation say that the previous system was bankrupting the nation and that the bill will lower costs in the long term.
The doctors say the law isn't all bad. Gingrey pointed to provisions that allow young people to stay on their parents' insurance policy until age 26, prevent discrimination for preexisting conditions, and eliminate lifetime benefits caps. However, he thinks it isn't enough to salvage the legislation. "There is so much bad in this bill that the easiest thing to do is to repeal it and start over," Gingrey said "(And) include those provisions."
House Republicans plan to unveil their own plans for a health care overhaul at Thursday's "Pledge to America" event in Sterling, Virginia. Their plan calls for repealing the current legislation and replacing it with a plan that enacts medical liability reform, expands Health Savings Accounts, and allows consumers to purchase insurance policies across state lines.