5 Growing Pains for Obamacare

Coming off a recent three-year anniversary from when Obamacare was passed into law, Republicans and Democrats continue to battle over the healthcare reform’s implementation. On Thursday, House Republicans had yet another chance to vote for the repeal of all or part of the Affordable Care Act — for the 37th time. And while they voted to do so 229 to 195, the repeal bill is certain to meet its death in the Democrat-led Senate.

Amid this renewed — and arguably futile — effort to repeal the bill, a recent tracking poll conducted around the three-year anniversary found that slightly more Americans oppose the law than support it. The same poll also found that a little more than half the country supports attempts to repeal the law, no matter how futile that may be. Here are 5 troubles that have continued to plague the bill despite its current age:

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1) Ron Johnson’s Complaints

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson recently claimed that the recently updated estimate of Obamacare’s cost, provided by the Congressional Budget Office, far surpasses the number at which President Barack Obama sold it and further illustrates the impossibility of America affording it. He explained: “The President and his allies in Congress sold Obamacare by promising it would cost the taxpayers less than $1 trillion in its first decade. Instead, the Congressional Budget Office now makes clear that once fully implemented, it will cost far more than that over its first ten years: a whopping $1.8 trillion.”

He added: “Obamacare will reduce medical innovation and the quality of care, increase wait times, lead to rationing, and bust the federal budget.”

2) Gingrich’s Alarm

Another man leery of the bill, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, predicted on Monday that the recent U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s scandal will haunt Obamacare indefinitely. The IRS admitted that it was targeting conservative organizations, working with an “enemies list.”

Though both the White House and the U.S. Department of Treasury have been careful to distance themselves from this operation, Gingrich maintains that “huge problems could materialize for the legislation as result of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.”

3) Sebelius Fundraising Probe

Bloomberg has reported that Republican lawmakers are on the tails of U.S. health secretary Kathleen Sebelius in an attempt to discern whether the money she made to promote the Affordable Care Act was solicited from companies regulated by her agency. Members of two House committees questioned her on Monday, asking about her fundraising efforts and claiming that Sebelius had been calling advocacy groups, doctors, churches, and “companies not regulated by HHS.”

4) Corporate America’s Unease

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) franchise owners claim that they, too, are largely against Obamacare, with one franchisee explaining in a survey: “Obamacare will negatively hit us like nothing else.”

The owners associated with the fast-food chain believe that the healthcare reform law will cut into profits at a tough time when the company has seen declining sales since last summer. “Obamacare is going to destroy already low profits, [and] McDonald‟s Corporation does not seem to care,” an owner explains. “The future looks BLEAK.”

It is not hard, then, to discern that this McDonald’s franchisee is not “lovin’ it.”

5) Vote After Repeal Vote

Thursday’s House vote to repeal the law was the 37th such. But despite the skepticism and ongoing zeal to get rid of the healthcare reform law, MSNBC doesn’t see it going anywhere, explaining that the CBO isn’t even bothering to score the vote. It cites a letter written by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf explaining that “his office is too busy to take on the task of estimating its impact, instead pointing him to the estimated impact of the 2012 repeal attempt, which would increase the deficit by $109 billion.”

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Nonetheless, veteran Republicans viewed the vote as symbolic — for the 37th time — and as a gift to their younger colleagues who weren’t afforded the opportunity to have a voice in the 112th Congress’s 36 votes to repeal the law.

Meanwhile, Thursday afternoon was spent by the two sides in a Twitter war, with Republicans urging people to comment negatively on the law with the hashtag #ObamacareInThreeWords. Democrats –the official White House account included — tried to spin it in favor of the bill. Here’s a sample of the exchange:

 

Here’s how the market traded on Friday:

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