Health care in the hot seat again
January 2nd, 2011
01:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Health care in the hot seat again

Washington (CNN) - Republicans on Sunday demonstrated a united front against health care reform passed by the Obama administration, an issue that is sure to fan the flames on the left and right when a divided Congress returns Wednesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said members in the House and Senate will try to "defund the Obama care bill and start over."

"I think this fight is going to continue to 2012 and it will move from Washington to the states," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It will be one big fight over the role of health care and should Obama health care be in existence in 2012 the way it is today."

California Rep. Darrell Issa, who will chair the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in the new Congress, said the committee will identify where "waste, fraud and abuse" exists in the plan to find where government can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

"As Republicans, our goal is to repeal what was done on a partisan basis, come back and do on a bipartisan basis, real reform," Issa said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton went a step further, saying there are 242 Republicans and a "significant number of Democrats" who want to repeal the legislation. The Michigan Republican, whose committee will play a key role in the roll-back effort, said he believes the House may be close to having the votes necessary to override a presidential veto. And if they don't have the votes for repeal, Upton said the House will "go after this bill piece by piece."

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota said the GOP will try to repeal the bill because "that's what the American people want us to do."

However, New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel criticized Republicans for focusing on health care instead of job creation.

"They're (Republicans) talking about wasting time repealing health care, when they know that the Senate and administration won't go along with it," Israel said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Don't waste time, create jobs."

In fact, even if repeal is possible in the House, it is unlikely to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate or receive traction in the White House.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was signed into law in March was a pillar of the president's agenda and was met with strong opposition from Republicans.

The measure was designed to help millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans receive adequate and affordable health care through a series of government-imposed mandates and subsidies. Critics have equated it to socialized medicine, fearing that a bloated government bureaucracy will result in higher taxes and diminished health care services.

Parts of the historic legislation have recently been challenged by individual states.

In December, a Florida U.S. District Court judge struck down the "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014, litigation supported by 19 other states. The Justice Department is expected to challenge the judge's findings in a federal appeals court.

The Supreme Court rejected the first constitutional challenge of the law because the justices refused to get involved at a relatively early stage of the legal process.

- CNN's Mariano Castillo and Bill Mears contributed to this report

Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is no more than a "feel good" attempt by Republicans when in fact they have no plan and no solutions. Both Republicans and Democrats, if they really want to help Americans, stop their salaries because they are already in the 2% of the wealthiest Americans. Are we as Americans so stupid we can't figure out how to stop the debt ceiling which they are all part of. If we take that approach we will find out who really represents all the American people.

    January 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Craig

    First of all, "Americans" don't want repeal or defunding, Most Republicans do and a small minority of everyone else does. Second of all, I agree that trying to repeal will use up a tremendous amount of time and energy in Congress without accomplishing a thing and Congress should spend their time creating jobs and strengthening the economy.

    January 2, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Nadeem

    This is brilliant, we elect these guys to reign in runaway deficit spending and what do they do, increase the debt by borrowing 700B from China for unpaid for tax cuts, vow to investigate, well nothing but we will think of something and repeal health care leaving millions with out care, and allowing insurance companies to kick anyone off who has a condition.

    Guys create jobs and cut spending. Everything else is a waste of time.

    January 2, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Repealing health care for 50 million who do not have it may be popular with the republican base, but this has nothing to do with their pledge to create jobs. Where is the republican plan to create jobs? There isn't one.

    January 2, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans want health reform repealed and then they want to start all over. Since there was no urgency on their part when 50 million were uninsured, I doubt that will get done. As for republican humor, Lindsay is about as funny as a republican can get. I can see why Lindsay is not very popular in his own state.

    January 2, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Doris V

    What do they intend to put in its place? I'm a single payer supporter. We have a plan in NM to do something in our state. We will have to fight the waiver language in the national plan but we hope to do so. Our state legislature holds its 60 day session starting in January. We have several health care related items on the agenda. Other states also have similiar ideas.

    January 2, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Tony

    Republican approach to healthcare, like their approach to budget, is to take away the money, and hope that problems will magically solve themselves. By cutting taxes, Republicans claim the revenues will increase. Please think about this, people. If everyone is paying lower taxes from the Bush tax cuts and there are fewer taxpayers because the economy lost 7 or 8 million jobs from the recession, how can the government get higher revenues? Alternatively, Republicans claim that cutting taxes will force the government to cut spending. Well, they just agreed with Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts. The deal will cost the Treasury more than 800 billion. Now they are trying to find a 100 billion saving in the 2011 budget. Republicans have not figured out what programs to cut, so they have not provided any details. Don't even the tea partiers know that the Republican approach to budgetary planning is a road to financial ruins?

    January 2, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Gregorious

    I would be willing to wager that most Republicans who are against this act cannot articulate why they don't like it. Indeed how can anybody be against preventing insurers from dropping you if you become sick or denying children insurance because of pre-existing conditions. They just know that Rush and Glen don't like it and have told them not to support it.
    Thie next congress ought to focus on creating jobs, not health care.

    January 2, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. MAC

    My medical as a military retire is not as high quality as it was when I joined and definitely not as good as when I grew up with my Dad serving in the USAF. This is government health care not getting better but worse. Obamacare needs to be rejected and looked at again with a real effert to cut cost, waste, and fraud. Also on the EPA going around Congress, it is wrong for them to take actions the American People have rejected. Everyone of the EPA who is worried about CO2 should get rid of their pets, big cars and SUV's, and big houses that all help create CO2!

    January 2, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. vic nashville tn

    Start over health care Vs cut government spending
    They are going to waste time and they will get pay for that waste of money
    Please focus on creating jobs

    January 2, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. stevetall

    Only a pin-head would call an attempt to improve the health of the nation as 'Obama Care' and spend time, energy, and money to defeat it. Welcome to the Republican Party.

    January 2, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Brendan

    Over half the country either supports the law, or wants Obamacare to be expanded to do more, according to recent polls. The Republicans are running, not walking, into a trap.

    January 2, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. the real ib

    Don't repeal but reform it so that it works. I've seen several things positive about but I've also seen several negative things about it. My wife is disabled and her secondary ins. is going up $50 per month and they sent us a letter detailing the reasons and most of them were to meet new provisions of this bill. So change it not repeal it.

    January 2, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    The Repubs do not have a chance of repealing it, and should not waste time trying to do so. They are merely going to make themselves look stupid and mean-spirited in the process. Oh, wait! They've already done that over and over! I guess the one good thing that can come out of their protests will be more points in favor of Pres. Obama and the Democrats for 2012. What the Repubs do not seem to know is that many left-wingers were unhappy with health care reform because it did not go far enough, that the Public Option failed. But what we have is surely better than nothing, and it will stay. The entire Congress needs to focus on jobs and on ending these horribly expensive wars. That's where the real waste is.

    January 2, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. jules sand-perkins

    Rep. Israel's interest in "creating" jobs is a distraction from the real work of Congress: repeal of the partisan health care bill may prove to substantially improve our economy in the future, so that more jobs will be available than might exist if Obamacare still exists.
    A free economy is certain to offer more opportunities to work than would a socialized economy based on dependency and "entitlements."
    When the economy of our country functioned, it was powered by individual personal initiative, not by union demands and socialized government entitlements.

    January 2, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Randy

    I agree repeal the Health Care Bill and institute a governmental health insurance for everyone like other civilized nations.

    January 2, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Sherri W.W.

    We NEED this Health Care Bill and we must Not let the Repubs take it away from us!~There is SO much good in it,and if they ever get it destroyed,we will NOT get it back again~Pres.Obama did a great thing for us,and too many are being fooled into wanting to give it up.My husband has waited to retire because we NEED the provisions that,starting NOW,will pay for 1/2 of our medicine,after we fall into the "donut hole"~our tells us that we will both be into that donut hole within 4 mos,after we go on medicare,and tho we will have to pay the premium all 12 months~we will have no meds for 8 mos of the year! We have worked 50yrs~him 35yrs~me,and he has had 1 heart atteck and cannot do w/o meds,yet there would be no way to afford them on social security without this new bill~And~the premiums and deductibles on Medicare,will be WAY MORE than we pay for BC/BS ins now which covers all our meds! I read 2 posts this morning which woke me up Big Time~because they are right! Both said we are all being fooled into giving up all that made this country great~the pay,the unions,social programs~whatever~all the things our parents&Gparents had~and some of us too[we both worked for unions for a number of years]~and these posters said we are letting the Big Money Repubs make us think this should be our "new Norm"while they,and their"friends"all have everything and get richer! And it hit me that those 2 posters had it exactly right on!,and even I had not seen it before~DO NOT let these people take us all down so they can stay up~we all deserve to live well after we work so hard.

    January 2, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Wendy P

    The Party of NO had its chance to contribute to ideas on insuring all Americans but instead chose to obstruct creativity and PROTECT their CORPORATIST health care friends, e.g., Big Pharma and health insurance companies. Now they will throw their weight around to support their friends even more! NO WAY!! NO to "starting over"! We want SINGLE PAYER. PERIOD!

    January 2, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    Senator Graham of SC spoke best: "defund the Obama care bill and start over," the most important part of his statement being "START OVER."
    Start over without Pelosi's baton conducting the out-of-tune orchestra.
    Start over without secret meetings that excluded Republicans.
    It's a new year: let's get it right in 2011 with a balanced congress and a cooperative president who is now more aware of ALL of the voters.
    Happy New Year, America.

    January 2, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Fed up in Texas

    So, here we go in 2010. Petty little arguments from petty little people. If the Health Care Plan of today is socialism, why
    was't it so in 1993 when the Republicans' health care bill mandated that all buy health insurance. Ask Orin Hatch,
    Charles Grassley, Robert Bennett or Chris Bond, who were there then supporting the bill and are there now opposing
    the same thing today. Romney says his Massachusetts' health plan is different because his is a State plan, and
    Obama's in a United States plan. Huh? Obama is President, Romney WAS governor. Same plan, different areas of
    coverage. This is just the tip of the iceburg as to the manipulation "strategery" of the Republicans, and it won't
    be pretty.

    January 2, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. jimppff

    It looks like our health careis under attack again by the republicans. It is not enough to pay over 50 years to medicare that ignorant voters have relected and elected represenatives that intend to take away our medical care protection. these senators and congressmen are bribed by the health insurance industry to allow laws the deprive voters of reasonable health covarage and will force loss of coverage and treatment to many of who need care .. After all protection of a corrept health insurance industry is what these politians are paid for.. After all the high court ruled that industries domestic and foreign can contribute all the want and don't even have to identiefy themselves. How much better can it get..

    January 2, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. roro

    They LOST the election in 2008; they LOST in their quest to stop healthcare for everyone; they LOST with the elimination of DADT; they LOST their objection to the START Treaty; they LOST their battle against the unemployed; and they LOST the battle to deny healthcare to the first responders. They're a bunch of LOSERS and they just can't accept reality. They're going to LOSE again in 2012. Get used to it!

    January 2, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. colowest

    As a +65er who's already benefited from its earliest changes, I have one thing to say to Graham, Issa, and their corporafascist fellow travelers: Keep your filthy corrupt hands off my Obamacare!!

    January 2, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. lynn

    To get elected, the GOP promised as their first priority, jobs. Now all they're doing is playing politics with people's lives again. Hope none of their kids are born with asthma or develops cancer. Then let's see how they feel when no insurace company will cover them. But I regress, they won't care, as long as they stick it to President Obama and the Democrats.

    January 2, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    Boy are we in trouble now. Republicans got us into this deep hole and got the boot for it. Now the voting public has decided they need another chance to finish this country off and instead of working to fix government, all Republicans can talk about now is a constany agenda of undoing what has been done. It seems to me that if you undo what has been done under this administration, what you will have left is a country that has been put right back in the direction it was in when this President came into office. So in essence, Republicans plan to take the country back to the Stone Age we have started coming out of and once there, their intentions are to take us back even further into the Pre-Historic Stone Age.

    January 2, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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