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Obamacare Turns One Today

March 23, 2011

One year ago today, President Obama signed the Democrats healthcare reform legislation into law. Obviously, different people are marking the occasion in different ways. Here is a look at what has happened over the past year, and what people are saying now:

** Former Representatives Gene Taylor and Travis Childers both opposed the healthcare legislation, but that would work to little avail. Like many Democrats from Republican districts, it didn’t matter much where you stood on the issue last November. Democrats- who had all voted for Nancy Pelosi in January, 2009- were punished by the voters in a major way. Hence the word former in front of their title. The Republicans who won their seats- Steven Palazzo and Alan Nunnelee- both vowed to repeal the legislation. The House has indeed done that, but it was killed in the Democratic controlled Senate.

** Last spring as the state legislative session was coming to a close, the legislature voted to strictly prohibit abortions as part of what will be the new state healthcare exchange. It made for a couple very interesting days. The House leadership wanted to finish up, but white Democrats sided with Republicans in voting against adjournment. The opt-out would pass with that coalition, much to the chagrin of the Black Caucus. The author of that legislation? Then-state Sen. Alan Nunnelee.

** Haley Barbour immediately joined other Republican governors in filing a lawsuit against the legislation. Barbour had asked Jim Hood- the Attorney General- to join in the suit but the Democrat declined. Barbour would then pursue the legislation without Hood’s help. The suit the state is involved in is one (of two) that have been declared unconstitutional by federal courts.

** Today at noon, supporters of the legislation will hold an anniversary event at the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center on Northside Drive. The event is being sponsored by Organizing for America.

** Sen. Roger Wicker, who has opposed the legislation, said this on the one-year anniversary: “Even though most of the major provisions of the health care takeover will not go into effect until 2014, Mississippians are already experiencing its harmful effects. Once fully implemented, the negative implications will be even more far-reaching. This government takeover is the wrong approach to lowering health care costs, which remain the greatest barrier to care. Earlier this year, I voted to repeal the President’s unpopular health care law. The Senate had an opportunity to show the American people that we are listening by overturning the measure, but the vote failed. I remain committed to repealing it and replacing it with solutions to bring down health care costs.”

You can read his full press release here.

** Sen. Thad Cochran, who also opposed the legislation, issued this statement: “In the year since this law was enacted, multiple red flags have been raised about the costs, scope and unintended consequences created by the health care reform law. It seems to me that these red flag warnings should make us pause and reconsider this flawed law. Senator Hutchison’s amendment would provide that pause by allowing the courts to carry out their duties. It would also give states a reprieve from the costly mandates in the law…Mississippi’s state budget is already under pressure and that pressure will only increase with the costs associated with implementing the mandates in this law, including establishing health insurance exchanges and accepting tens of thousands of new Medicaid subscribers.”

You can view the entire press release here.

** The state GOP also sent out a statement, which you can read here. Among other things, they criticize Attorney General Jim Hood for refusing to oppose the legislation and join in a lawsuit against it.

** According to the most recent CNN polling, opinions on the legislation are about the same today as they were a year ago. They found that 37 percent of Americans support the legislation (it was a statistically insignificant 39 percent one year ago), while 59 percent oppose it (unchanged from one year ago).

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