Senate Seeks to Repeal Obamacare and Planned Parenthood

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Arim Lee, Staff Writer

The Senate passed a budget reconciliation bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Senior Raqib Adebayo is against defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing Obamacare because it strips people of their basic rights.

“I believe repealing Obamacare is a silly idea because the right to health care should not be limited to the upper class,” Adebayo said. “Planned Parenthood is a very useful resource for many people and should not be a program that is scrapped.”

This stands as one the most significant statements the GOP has made since they took charge of the Senate last year. Democrats and Republicans have had a long dispute over Obamacare since it had been approved. Democrats had successfully prevented the Republicans from passing a repeal bill with a filibuster, a prolonged act that continues to delay time without breaking any required procedures. However, recently the Republicans counteracted this action with the reconciliation bill that only requires 51 votes rather than the normal 60 votes to pass.

In his speech to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave his opinion about Obamacare and the impact of the repeal bill before the voting ended. He is proud of the change Republicans have finally fulfilled after years of disputes with the Democrats.

“For too long, Democrats did everything to prevent Congress from passing the type of legislation necessary to help these Americans who are hurting. Today, that ends,” McConnell said. “Today, a middle class that’s suffered enough from a partisan law will see the Senate vote to build a bridge past Obamacare and toward better care.”

The new bill eliminates the insurance exchanges and subsidies while repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states. It also includes defunding Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit health group that provides women with available abortion services, sex education, healthcare, and family planning

Freshman Sharon Lee is fine with defunding Planned Parenthood because it might help lower teenage pregnancies if abortions services are decreased.

“Planned Parenthood offers any woman to have an abortion so young girls that do not understand the idea of having a child may think that it is easy to get rid of a baby if they decide they don’t want it anymore,” Lee said. “Abortion is not something to take lightly and decreasing access to it may help the future generation of Americans in the long run.”

Though Republicans have always disapproved of the large amount of taxpayer dollars going to the organization, their contempt increased after recent footage of Planned Parenthood executives selling aborted fetus tissue to researchers was released. The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, argues that Planned Parenthood misuses aborted fetuses to gain a profit from illegal sales behind the scene. Planned Parenthood has stated that the videos are heavily edited and the Republicans are only trying to exaggerate the event to increase publicity.

Social studies teacher Steve Buenning does not see the significance in this issue at the moment, since there is no progress possible for the bill.

“They were going to make Obamacare an election issue anyway. This was not going to go away so if it makes them feel better, that’s it,” Buenning said. “This does not change the reality that nothing is going to alter unless there is a Republican that will be elected as president.”

As of now, the final bill was approved by the Senate on a 52-47 vote and has gone back to the White House, where President Obama will likely veto it.