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House Repeals Health Care Law; So What Now?

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MIAMI (CBS4) – It is a symbolic vote, but Republicans now controlling the political levers in the U.S  House vowed that repeal of the health care reform law was priority one. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday, “Our pledge was to repeal Obamacare because it is going to increase spending, increase taxes, and destroy jobs in America.”

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office does not agree. Analysts there say the new health care reform law will save an estimated $230 billion.

Let the debate begin, again.

Republicans say they will propose alternative legislation—tort reform and the interstate sale of health care policies are high on the list. They also vow to try and starve the health care law of funding.  California House Democrat George Miller countered, “This is life and death, this is the security of your family.”

The House repeal Wednesday does not scrap the health care law because leaders of the Democratic controlled U.S. Senate will not go along with what they deride as a purely symbolic vote, and pure politics. Some South Floridians CBS4’s Natalia Zea spoke with agree.

I really think it’s stupid, I think it’s gonna hurt America and the people who voted for it are really un-patriotic,” Pamela Hinkin said of the Repeal vote.

Victor Espinoza said, “It was really hard to pass the law, they battled for months and to try to repeal it after all that effort is just a waste of tax money.”

But others, like Natalia Cintas, believe the law needs to be taken off the books and examined.

“I think it was a little rushed, Obama was like pass it, pass it, pass it and nobody really looked at everything, the fine print so I think it’s good that they’re taking a look at it again.”

So, keeping your children on your health care policy until age 26, bans on denials for pre-existing medical conditions and many other changes will remain in place or go into effect by 2014. That, at least, is how things stand for now.

Florida, meanwhile, is leading the legal charge against the mandate that adults be required to buy health care coverage or pay a penalty. Many critics are calling such a requirement unconstitutional.

Dr. Laurence Gardner is a health care policy expert at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He told CBS4′s Michael Williams, “If insurance is not mandatory only the sick people will buy it. They will slowly destroy the health care system in terms of costs.”

Dr. Gardner argues that without mandated health coverage and better access to basic care the costs for everyone cannot help but keep climbing.

He said, “It turns out that to deliver health care through emergency rooms and to wait until people get desperately ill is more expensive for the entire U.S. and the health care system than developing a program of preventive care and management of chronic illnesses.”

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