House Republicans cleared a hurdle Friday in their first attempt to scrap Barack Obama’s landmark health care overhaul, yet it was little more than a symbolic swipe at the law. The real action is in states, where Republicans are using federal courts and governors’ offices to lead the assault against Obama’s signature domestic achievement, a law aimed at covering nearly all Americans.
In a post-election bow to tea partiers by the new GOP House majority, Republican lawmakers are undertaking an effort to repeal the health care law in full knowledge that the Democratic Senate will stop them from doing so.
Republicans prevailed Friday in a 236-181 procedural vote, largely along party lines, that sets the stage for the House to vote next week on the repeal.
Shortly before the House vote, Republican governors representing 30 states opened up a new line of attack, potentially more successful.
In a letter to Obama and congressional leaders, the governors complained that provisions of the health care law are restricting their ability to control Medicaid spending, raising the threat of devastating cuts to other critical programs, from education to law enforcement in a weak economy. It’s ammunition for critics trying to dismantle the overhaul piece by piece.
Moreover, a federal judge in Florida is expected to rule shortly in a lawsuit brought by 20 states that challenges the law’s central requirement that most Americans carry health insurance. A judge in Virginia ruled it unconstitutional last month, while in courts in two other cases have upheld it. It’s expected that the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve the issue.
The battle to get rid of ObamaCare has begun.
House Republicans plan to fulfill a campaign promise and hold a vote next week on repealing the healthcare reform law.
The incoming House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), announced Monday that the vote will take place on Jan. 12, one week after Republicans take control of the House.
Republicans posted the two-page legislation Monday night on the website of the House Rules Committee, in keeping with their pledge to post bills at least 72 hours before they come to the floor for a vote. A procedural vote on the bill will occur Friday, Cantor’s office said.
GOP leaders pledged to “repeal and replace” the healthcare law, but the House will not vote on a separate replacement bill next week. Instead, lawmakers will consider a resolution that instructs three committees to report healthcare legislation. The resolution sets 12 goals for the bill, including lowering healthcare costs and premiums, increasing the number of insured Americans and “to provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage” – a key, popular element of the Democratic healthcare law. The bill, according to the resolution, must not “accelerate the insolvency of entitlement programs or increase the tax burden on Americans.”
“Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said. “Further, ObamaCare failed to lower costs as the president promised that it would and does not allow people to keep the care they currently have if they like it. That is why the House will repeal it next week.”
Senate Democrats have already vowed to block a repeal bill from a vote in the upper chamber if it touches the popular “doughnut hole” reforms for Medicare payments. And President Obama would surely veto the bill if it managed to make it to his desk.
Neal Boortz has a few caveats:
I think the Republicans are making their first big mistake of the 112th Congress this week. John Boehner has scheduled a repeal vote for ObamaCare on January 12th. It will pass the House .. but things don’t look at all good for the Senate. The GOP is really just making a statement here: “ObamaCare, here we come.” But they’re doing it wrong. They are making it easy for Pelosi and the Democrats to retaliate with sound bites delivered to a press eager to see the Republicans fall flat on their faces.
We’re forgetting the Democrat game plan on government-run health care. ObamaCare was written in such a way that certain elements that were quite popular would go into effect first.
There’s the Medicare Part D “donut hole”. Here’s a definition I found on the web: “The donut hole is the difference between the cash limits required by the individual plan type where Medicare my pay prescription costs until they rise to a pre-set limit. Once that limit is reached, recipients must take over all payments until the gap once again closes when an upper pre-set limit is reached.” Simply put, the donut hole requires seniors to actually pay some money out of their own pockets. The wealthiest segment of our population … imagine that. The Democrats know that seniors don’t like paying for stuff … so this hole is being plugged early on by ObamaCare. There’s those $250 checks that were sent out last July, for instance.
Then there’s the ObamaCare provision that forbids insurance companies from denying coverage from children with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies have responded to this by simply changing their coverage lines so that they don’t write policies children at all. Remember … we’re dealing with government educated voters here. They don’t understand that an insurance company simply cannot survive if people are allowed to incur the loss before they acquire the insurance. Nonetheless … this ObamaCare provision is popular. It maybe popular due to stupidity .. but it’s popular.
So here come the Republicans with their vote to repeal ObamaCare on the 12th .. and the Democrats will have a field day. We already have the hideous Nancy Pelosi telling intellectually challenged Americans that the evil Republicans just want to put the insurance companies in charge. This line will work with many Americans. Democrats spent years demonizing insurance companies while doing everything they could to make sure these insurance companies couldn’t compete in the marketplace. It worked. Now they’re playing that card again.
My suggestion? Well … not that anyone in Washington gives a flying whatever … but why not include some elements of reform in the repeal bill? Here’s are a few proposals the Republicans could put forth immediately:
Legislation allowing insurance companies to sell their products across state lines.
Legislation removing impediments from insurance companies that want to offer high-deductible policies.
Legislation expanding health-care savings accounts.
There .. that took about 12 seconds.
The Republicans certainly have the right idea. ObamaCare is clearly one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation ever passed by any congress since No. 1. In spite of that, there are Americans who love it … love it because they think that it actually going to improve the quality of their health care while absolving them of that troublesome personal responsibility that should be a part of anyone’s health care plan.
Americans … even Americans who have an actual clue … are going to want something more than a straight-out repeal. They’re going to want to see the problems that allowed Democrats to proceed with their health care takeover addressed. Thus far the Republicans don’t seem to be getting that message.
Unfortunately, the tyrannical socialist healthcare seizure by the Dems will take longer to obliterate than it did to ram through Congress:
In any case, it’s good that the Republicans are getting busy with putting America back on track. Tackling the ObamaCare disaster is high on the list.