When the legislation came up for a vote it passed the House 220-215. In the Senate, the vote passed easily as the Democrats held a strong majority. In both votes, just one Republican voted for the Affordable Act. The limitations of the American system are many, but money plays a vital role in any legislation. Millions of dollars went into lobbying against the bill (insurers, conservative special interest groups, etc.). Conservative media like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and others, authored smears about the legislation; for example, Sarah Palin and others insisted there was a “death panel” measure in the bill that would give doctors the right to say certain aged people need to be put to death, a patently false and absurd notion. The latest round of attacks are being launched by the Republican majority in the House, which voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in February 2011, 245-189. But the Senate shot down the repeal, 51-47.
Conclusion: The responsibility for following the letter of the new law is in the hands of the executives of insurance companies.
There will be ongoing attempts to cut funds for the law by opponents, and there are legal challenges to the portion of the law that will require all citizens to have health insurance by 2014. But it is law, it makes sense, and notwithstanding an unprecedented and viciously orchestrated series of attacks by right wing groups and others, the feeling is that it must remain intact to prevent insurers from blatantly unfair policies — and give up to 30 million uninsured Americans a chance for coverage.
CNN.com (2008). Town Hall meeting on health care turns ugly. Retrieved February 18, 2011,
Fox News. (2010). Audience Shouts Down Sebelius, Specter at Health Care Town Hall in Philadelphia. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from http://www.foxnews.com.
The New York Times. (2009). Fight in August. Retrieved February 18, 2011, from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com.
The White House. (2011). The Affordable Care Act / How it Works. Retrieved February 18,
2011, from http://www.whitehouse.gov..