March 23rd, 2011
06:46 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the health care reform law, the debate for the law’s future continues.
Groups on both sides of the issue marked the anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by voicing their opinions in a flurry of written statements.
President Obama and Democrats have lauded the reform passed last year for extending benefits for young adults under their parents’ insurance until they are 26, banning insurance companies from dropping patients when they get sick, and prohibiting children with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage. The Obama administration also argued that the reform would benefit the economy by creating jobs and reducing the deficit.
House Minority Leader Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) called the law the “the Civil Rights Act of the 21st Century” and said it ended years of abuse by insurance companies and helped get people back to work. “Since the law was enacted a year ago 1.4 million private sector jobs have been created, 243,000 of them in the health care industry. The law reduces the deficit by $210 billion over next 10 years and by more than $1 trillion over next 20 years,” he said.
But Republicans say the health care reform law doesn’t help the deficit or the overall economy but instead has already fallen short of what President Obama promised. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) vows that House Republicans will continue to fight for the law’s repeal.
“Costs have not gone down, and people cannot keep the coverage that they have if they like it,” he said. “To the contrary, Congressional Democrats and the Administration have had to admit that the law will eliminate nearly one million jobs from the economy, increase health care costs by over $300 billion, and reduce health choices for individuals and families. That is why the law should be repealed, delayed, dismantled, and defunded.”