Earlier today, the United States House of Representatives voted 244-185 to repeal in full President Obama's healthcare law, in the wake of the recent decision by the Supreme Court. In case you missed it, on June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its opinion on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ruling in a 5-4 decision that the law, including its mandate for the purchase of health insurance, was upheld.
Before your mind starts reeling with thoughts of "Oh no, here we go again!" however, you should know that this is, in fact, the 33rd vote to repeal or defund the law since Republicans took control of the chamber last year.
So this vote was largely symbolic in nature, and likely aimed at making a statement in the months leading up to the all-important November elections. The chances of the law being repealed would require quite a few pieces falling into place just so, and is highly unlikely, so all of this is really just some especially showy jockeying for position.
However, the vote does symbolize that the country is still very much split on the entire Affordable Care Act decision, much as it is split along many other social and political issues. How much does will this dichotomy affect the future of the U.S. healthcare system? We'll have to just wait and see, but the entire process won't be speedy in any case. Could we see some "maverick" health systems or owners refuse to comply with measures in the ACA? Will we see movement on all of the healthcare building projects currently languishing on hold? What other unforseen issues might unfold in the wake of the November elections?
Stay tuned, because if anything can be accurately predicted, it is that we can throw the predictions out the window.