Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 245 to 189 to repeal the recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Most on the left have interpreted this vote as a symbolic measure indicative of the Republicans’ way of showing how difficult they will be to work with this term. While a House win (with the Republican majority gained after the recent mi d t e r m elections) by no means translates to a win in a Senate still controlled by the Democrats, this vote does raise questions and concerns for people on both sides of the political spectrum. Many consider this bill, which will go into effect within the coming years, to be one of the greatest successes of the Obama Administration. The Republicans, however, have promised to do their best to challenge and undo the “change” that has occurred over the past two years. Both sides have shown they are ready for a long, hard fight, especially in initial discussions about the 2012 presidential campaigns. As always, American citizens are caught up in the middle and are the ones who will have to deal with the brunt of the conflict.
Initial indications are that this may be the beginning of a two-year deadlock between a Republican House with a Democratic president and Senate, and one must ask if any real progress can come out of the next few years. One could make a comparison to the Clinton administration of 1996- 2000, wherein both the House and Senate were Republican controlled under a Democratic Commander-in-Chief. Both sides were able to come to some level of agreement, albeit with much tension, scandal and controversy. Yet many today are saying that this level of compromise may not be possible, given that issues such as gay rights, immigration and health care are so polarizing that a middle ground may not even exist. Regardless, we must all focus and remind ourselves that our differences cannot be divisive factors. We are a society based on civil disagreement, and through this we have erected one of the greatest nations of all time. Let us just hope we can stop the petty nonsense for a few seconds and act like civil adults for the sake of this country. With politicians, however, this is much easier said than done.