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With new federal healthcare regulations now in full swing, President Obama is expected to cite the implementation of “Obamacare” as a major victory in tonight’s State of the Union (SOTU) address. But not everyone is singing the praises of the administration’s health care law, and Republican Members of Congress are determined to make that known.
At least a dozen GOP lawmakers have invited guests who have been adversely affected by Obamacare to tonight’s address – everyone from business owners feeling the weight of the new regulations to individual customers who have endured such unpleasant experiences as increases in premium rates and cancelled plans. Their concerns will be voiced in the Republican response to the President’s address.
For all that Obama sought to accomplish, the fact is that the bureaucratic red tape surrounding the new healthcare law has not made it easier for consumers to navigate through the system – much less find plans that are could be considered affordable (despite the name of the bill that made this law a reality). Also of concern are such mandates as the requirement that a vast majority of Americans purchase health insurance of some kind or face stiff tax penalties, as well as the “contraception mandate,” which guarantees the free provision of contraceptives through insurers, paid for by the premium dollars of other consumers who may have a conscientious objection to this requirement.
Certain aspects of the healthcare law continue to be challenged in court – most notably, the Little Sisters of the Poor have launched legal proceedings to prevent religious organizations to be subject to the contraception mandate. Though a repeal of the law seems highly unlikely, lawmakers have continued to craft alternate proposals to some of its most controversial or ineffective elements.
Alberto González is the Associate Editor of Aleteia’s English edition. His prior endeavors have included working in political campaigns and in the United States Senate. He also maintains an active schedule as a liturgical vocalist and organist.
A native of California, Alberto graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 with a B.A. in Music and Political Science. He currently lives in the greater Washington, D.C. area.