While delivering one of the GOP’s half a dozen vacuous “responses” to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers went after the Affordable Care Act, saying that “Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s.” First, I must make a quick comment: this statement is just completely unfounded and implies that the GOP either doesn’t understand the ACA, or that they are intentionally deceiving people – after all, the ACA regulates the insurance industry, but you are still free to choose your own insurance plan and the law does not restrict your ability to make personal health care choices in any way (unless your choice is to get ripped off by an insurance company or lose your plan when you get sick – in that case, the ACA will not allow you to choose to get ripped off or dropped by your insurer. So maybe that’s what the GOP means by restricting your health care choices…?). More to the point, the Republican Party is responsible for passing more than 200 restrictions on abortion in just the past 3 years, and GOP lawmakers nationwide are pushing for even more extreme anti-choice legislation including restrictions on emergency contraception, raising taxes on women seeking abortion, allowing employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception, defunding family planning programs, implementing medically unnecessary waiting periods for abortion, closing abortion clinics in areas where access is already limited, forcing women to undergo invasive pre-abortion vaginal ultrasounds (paid for, out of pocket, by the woman), and mandating abortion clinics to provide misleading and erroneous information during pre-abortion counseling (such as telling women that abortion is a cause of breast cancer, a claim that has been debunked numerous times in scientific studies). Republicans also oppose comprehensive sex education, and in many red states, schools are only allowed to teach children about abstinence. For several years now, Republicans have not only passed legislation to restrict women’s reproductive health care choices, but they have actually gone as far as officially adding their anti-choice agenda to the official Republican Party Platform. This year, they even postponed the annual meeting of the Republican National Committee so their members could participate in an anti-choice parade.
I can’t think of many things that would be more disingenuous than Republicans claiming to be concerned about the government involvement in personal health care choices. Next thing you know, the party that prides itself on (supposedly) being fiscally responsible will do something crazy like shut down the government or threaten to let the U.S. default on the national debt. Oh wait… they already did those things.