House leaders duel over health care repeal
July 1st, 2012
10:46 AM ET
2 years ago

House leaders duel over health care repeal

(CNN) – The Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House offered sharply divergent projections Sunday on President Barack Obama's health care law, which was deemed constitutional Thursday by the Supreme Court and which faces a repeal vote on Capitol Hill in just over a week.

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican and proponent of the law's repeal, said the court's ruling was "shocking," but maintained it did carry an upside for the GOP.

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"All it really does is strengthen my resolve and resolve of Republicans here in Washington to repeal this awful law, which is increasing the cost of health insurance for the American people and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers," Boehner said on CBS.

The House vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, slated for July 11, will send the signal to the American people that Republicans are "resolved to get rid of this," Boehner said.

"This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. They do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy, and how much they have to pay for it, and if you don't like it we're going to tax you. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over," Boehner said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic leader in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said Sunday the attempt to repeal of Obama's health law was "unrealistic," saying taking such action amounted to Republicans catering to special interests.

"It's being the mouthpiece of the health insurance industry," Pelosi said on NBC. "And we're saying, 'Let's not have them be in charge anymore. Let the people be in charge of how they receive coverage and health care.'"

Republicans first sought a repeal vote of the president's health law in the 111th Congress, soon after the measure passed. Democrats, who then controlled the House and Senate, didn't allow repeal attempts to be considered.

When Republicans took control of the House after the 2010 midterm elections, a repeal measure was voted on by the full body, passing 245-189. It was added as an amendment to an unrelated bill in the Senate, where it was voted down.

Other attempts have been made in Congress to defund the health care law, though none has yet been successful in passing the Democrat-controlled Senate.

On Sunday, Pelosi said attempts to repeal or defund the law represented de facto repeal of the beneficial aspects of the measure.

"They'll bring it up, and when they bring it up they will ask for repeal, repeal of all the things I said that help children, help young adults, help seniors, help men or women who may have prostate cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is, any precondition," Pelosi said.

"So that's what they want to repeal, we're happy to have that debate," she added.

Boehner argued Republicans were willing to maintain certain provisions in the health law, though he said each would need to be enacted separately.

"Republicans believe in a common sense, step-by-step approach to replacing this law," the House speaker said. "And all of those provisions, popular provisions, many of them very sound provisions, can in fact be done in a common sense way. But not in 2,700 pages that no one read."

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Filed under: Health care • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. carly

    It is stunning hov far the right wing GOP will go to lose as many elections as possible. Please keep it up. We want a Dem President, House and Senate.

    July 1, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    Repeal Obama care = Death panel

    July 1, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. zoyster1

    On Obamacare, it really doesn't matter what the House thinks. The American people will not comply with this unconstitutional law anyway. Polling shows that half of Americans know the law is still unconstitutional and 67% of Americans don't like Obamacare. This law will never stand as-is because the American people won't allow it. They simply won't comply and, as much as it might outrage the thin-skinned narcissist Obama and his minions, there's nothing they can do about it.

    July 1, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Larry L

    Republicans love all features of the law – except the mandate making it possible. Romney's "vision" for a new plan uses all of the provisions except the mechanism to make it work. He won't say how he plans to pay for it!

    It's a simple process – do the right thing for your family and get health insurance – then you do not pay a tax to offset your burden on the taxpayers. The really poor will get assistance towards the premiums. Responsible Americans can't afford to keep paying for the E.R. bills for those who won't get insurance. That's a "hidden tax" we all pay in higher costs.

    Ironically, Romney's idea was used as the model!

    July 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. SafeJourney

    President Obamacares, repdublicans dont care.(unless you are their wealthy buddies)

    July 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. King

    the repubs want oil Wells in every backyard in America, because they say that global warming is fake, and the earth is only 6 thousand years old, these repubs has 2/3 of the white voters ; including the 1 percenters, fox news, CNBC, fox business, and 90 percent of the talk shows, yet they cry bloody murder if one of the mainstream media ever show Obama in a positive light. all obama has behind him is MSNBC, some blacks and Spanish voters, 35 percent of the white votes, and a few holiwood stars. how the hell can Obama stand up against mitten and the rabid right, where the media is concerned.

    July 1, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. BillSD33

    Wouldn't be amazing if the Republicans said, "The ACA is constitutional, but it is not perfect. Let's work together to see what we can fix." Never will happen, there idea of compromise is similar to a child with its toys (MINE, MINE)!

    July 1, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Harveyyaz

    As usual, Boehner is lying to the public. The healthcare industry has not been taken over by the government and market forces will still determine the rates we pay. Boehner and his colleagues are using fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to scare people into voting Republican, which is their time-honored strategy. Even more offensive, they don't have a clue as to with what they'd replace the Affordable Care Act. Wake up, America!

    July 1, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Boehner and his family, the GOP and there families enjoy the healthcare provided by taxpayers and some of these people are career Government employees living off taxpayers. They don't give a hoot about our children, senior citizens, the sick, the poor but they declare they are good Christians and use the Bible at their convenience.

    July 1, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Ireregardless of what the Supreme Court, that had to move the Goal Posts to uphold this monstrasity, the "Thing" is still Unconstutitional. It is stupid that the U.S. Congress has the power to Tax everything and everybody. Most of collecting taxes should reside in the states. A few things belong in Congress, such as National Defense. Agreed that this thing needs to be ripped out by it's roots and if each state wants to take it up, so be it.

    July 1, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. Pete

    Tea Partyers wanting the ACA repealed,these same idiots marching in Washington telling everyone to keep their hands off their Medicare,Medicaid and SocialSecurity when its their own extremist republicans who are trying to destroy all of them.How can you take them seriously when they deserve to be Baker Acted for acting so mentally unstable,its their thinking,actions that's turning this country upside down and they're in delushional denile thinking anything different.They believing they're patriotic when all the intelligent people see them as extreme in their actions and motives being against all with their unpatriotic agandas made public!!

    July 1, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. NotFooledByDistractions

    Can any of you ACA opponents explain where the "government run health care" comes into play?

    Seems to me we're all still buying our health insurance from private providers – not the government. The government is only intervening to apply basic standards that the insurers have to adhere to – they're setting basic rules, not selling the policies. What's wrong with that? It reduces the danger of insurers running amok and ensures that we get more bang for our premium buck. I guess the counter argument is that folks like to get screwed by their insurance providers.

    Insurers must now spending 80-85% of the premiums to actual health care and not to admin costs, marketing and ceo bonuses. That's a bad thing?

    The government is also requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care like mammograms, etc. without a copay. That's a bad thing?

    The government is not going to allow insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. What's so bad about that?

    The government requires that there can no longer set lifetime limits – what's wrong with that?

    The government intervention does not turn it into "government run health care" – but it does set rules and standards that actually benefit the policyholders, what's wrong with that?

    July 1, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. vonn

    ("And all of those provisions, popular provisions, many of them very sound provisions, can in fact be done in a common sense way. But not in 2,700 pages that no one read.")

    Mr Boehner, I suggest that you read it then.

    July 1, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. kate

    Agree with Claudia from Texas. They DON"T care about anyone else. Yeah, they call themselves Christians,,,what a hoax! They carry the Bible but don't read it! Just be born again-–ha..... I think the Bible says, " by their works you shall know them." I used to be a republican, but just can't see their thinking about being Christian. We are to take care of the less fortunate. They are only interested in keeping the rich afloat. John F. Kennedy said it well at his inagural address in 1961. "A society that will not help the poor, cannot save a few rich."

    July 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Phil Thomas

    These guys are good at creating busy work that goes no where, the holder thing, this is another point. Say what you eant about the dens but they got tjings done and went to work every day. Hands down the wrong fight for these RNC guys to pick, people are not stupid. You need to pay for the benefits that they claim they want to keep, the concept of a free ride when it comes to Heath care is a myth and we pay for those who opt out. Under this bill at least they can't opt out and stick us with the bill five years later when their illness is costlier and should have been prevented, hopefully less cases of bankruptcy, we can only hope

    July 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Dave R.

    Mr. Boehner please explain why we cannot have the same healthcare plan that you and all members of congress have. Put another way, what the hell make you so special that you should not have to grovel for healthcare like the rest of us.

    July 1, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Bren

    Boehner and the Republicans are very smart bringing this to the floor for a vote. They want a very bright light to be cast on every Democrat who still supports this law–now that it is confirmed that it is a tax--the largest tax ever passed in our country!! Definitely bring it to the floor for a vote, I can't wait.

    July 1, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. AJ

    Now I know why Boehner is the worst house speaker ever, all he does is stall and make worthless symbolic votes.

    July 1, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. DC from NJ

    The only thing that is "shocking" about this story is Boehner's continuing stupidity. As the electorate learns more about "Obamacare", they will like it better and better. I love watching the R's digging their own graves!

    July 1, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Bren

    Wait until the military members and their families figure out that they are also going to be taxed on their healthcare–because they have "cadillac" health care plans!! Not just military members/families–anyone that Obama/Dems determine to have "cadillac" health care plans. Romney and the Republicans should be speaking at as many VFWs, American Legions, etc as possible–to make as many military members and their families aware of this as possible!!

    July 1, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. NVa Native

    Of course the followers of the grandiose obstructionist’s party are dismayed. They thought they had the court stacked to push their ideology and ignore the law never thinking any of them could or would deliberate independently.
    Lucky for the American People Roberts left his personal opinions and ideology and followed his professional experience and training.

    July 1, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. Sue

    As former PA Democratic Governor Ed Rendell said the day after the Supreme Court ruling......."Obamacare is an albatross around our necks".

    July 1, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Gurgyl

    GOP is gone to dogs....obama12.

    July 1, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Aaron

    Why, Speaker Boehner, has "no one read" this large, but seemingly quite important, document. Don't you have staffers tasked to do such things? Is it not worth the time? And what sort of page limit would you like to see placed on the length of bills before congress? Healthcare delivery is pretty complicated – seems reasonable that it would take more than a few pages to cover the ground in a comprehensive style befitting, say, federal law. THAT is how Washington is broken!!! The objection to the size of the bill is ridiculous, and you know it. So don't say it just because it sounds good. That is dishonest. (And by the way, if you haven't read it, or you know colleagues that have not and do not call them out for it, you should be ashamed and embarrassed. Go home now and read it!!!).

    July 1, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. cinci

    I live in Boehner's district–and i can't count how many times he has said "what the american people want"–
    He says that like all of us agree with him. Not everyone is a fan of his here. Call his office–just try and express
    your dissent on any opinon that his office has-and just see how seriously you are taken. And furthermore–
    for him to compare how many times he eats broccoli to this healthcare is ridiculous–the govt. is not going
    make sure you eat right any more than they are taking away anything from a voter to ensure that more people
    in the wealthiest nation on earth have the basic need of healthcare. He has his strongholds here and he fights
    hard to keep the districts that are popular to him–some that are not even that close to cincinnati–try montgomery county!
    in south dayton.

    July 1, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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