Virginia House Representative Eric Cantor is quoted as saying this past Sunday, February 2nd that “Obamacare is on borrowed time.” He believes, as do most of his Republican colleagues, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is inherently flawed. Yet in the aftermath of the Republican party’s failed attempt to pressure President Obama and Democrats into folding their policy over the government shutdown, Cantor and others are ready to take the next offensive in the national healthcare debate. The representative stated that “There is a consensus about Republican solutions for a healthcare system that works for everybody, which includes those without a job, which includes those who are sick.” However, he refused to say when the public should expect to see this new alternative plan unveiled.
Upon hearing this particular excerpt from Cantor’s interview, I was quite surprised. For the past decade or so, the Republican Party has prided itself as the champion of individual liberties. They live by Ronald Reagan’s maxim that government is the problem. Furthermore, their figure head, Speaker of the House John Boehner has made it clear that his congress should be judged on how much legislation they prevent rather than create. With this in mind, the existence of a new Republican headed bill for healthcare reform feels unusual in this current political climate. While although it would be nice to believe that this initiative marks the beginning of a turning point in the party’s mindset, I find myself feeling cynical. The “social contract” dictates that a governing body should create legislation to serve and protect the interests of its constituents, which is what Cantor is ostensibly putting forth. However, since these are the words of just a couple House Republicans out of dozens and that this supposed bill seems to arise mostly out of spite to President Obama, it feels more like an attack upon the Democrats rather than a bill to help Americans. I doubt that healthcare reform would have originated from the Republicans without the topic being worked upon first by President Obama. In my opinion, Cantor’s comments represent just another political ploy to remain incumbent and attack his foes. They are more scheming than uplifting. This being said, I would love to see this new, very good, Republican- crafted bill that is completely real and going to happen unveiled in the Spring. If there is a way to better help the citizens of America, then both Democrats and Republicans should pursue it. After all, it’s in their contract.