Colorado GOP: Repeal federal health care law
Hoping to send a message to Congress, the Republican-controlled Colorado House approved a nonbinding resolution Thursday calling for a federal constitutional convention to repeal the controversial health care reform act.
The resolution, which carries no force of law, passed largely on a party-line vote. Only one Republican, Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, voted against it, but she said later that was by mistake.
Republicans said the federal law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, places unconstitutional mandates on individuals and unacceptable burdens on businesses.
“The federal government ignored the will of the people by passing the federally mandated health care bill,” Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, said during a two-hour debate on the resolution. “Small businesses all across Colorado are looking for help right now. Instead, the federally mandated health care law is hurting their ability to create jobs and grow.”
Democrats, however, said the resolution is nothing more than political grandstanding and is intended to get certain members on record for supporting the controversial law, including Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, and Joe Miklosi, D-Denver. The two men are running for the 3rd and 6th congressional districts, respectively.
House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, called the resolution a letter to Santa Claus.
“It’s unfortunate the first act that we’re doing as a body, and we can question if this actually is real work, is a partisan resolution when we started the session talking about bipartisanship and working together and focusing on jobs,” Ferrandino said. “If we’re going spend time in this chamber to do this, let’s actually do some action instead of saying a sentiment to Santa Claus of what we want.”
Ferrandino and other Democrats said calling for a constitutional convention to repeal a congressional act is just plain silly. Rather than calling for such a convention, which hasn’t occurred since the Constitution was drafted in 1787, it’s easier just to ask Congress to repeal it, he said.
Pace said the federal law isn’t perfect, but it attempts to address problems with the nation’s health care system, particularly with costs and access to medical care.
“We need real fixes,” Pace said. “What we don’t need is ideology. What we don’t need is half-truths. We all need to back down from rhetoric and divisiveness. We look a little bit too much like Washington, D.C., and I’m reconsidering my future plans if this is what it’s going to be like.”