House GOP to move this week on health care repeal
January 3rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
11 years ago

House GOP to move this week on health care repeal

Washington (CNN) - CNN has learned that Republicans plan to try to repeal the health care law almost immediately after taking control of the House, setting the stage for an early confrontation with President Obama.

House GOP sources tell CNN that they will unveil repeal legislation Monday night, even before they claim the majority Wednesday. Then, on Friday, Republicans will hold a critical procedural vote – the first step towards passing the repeal. A final House vote will likely take place next Wednesday.

Republicans have said for some time the House would take up repealing health care, a top GOP campaign issue, during the first month of the new Congress, but up to now have not revealed exactly when. Regardless, the repeal has little chance of passing the Senate.

Republicans say they decided to bring it up this soon to quickly respond to voters' frustration with the health care law, which Republicans argue is hurting the economy.

"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," said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA.

"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," he said.

The fact that this will be taken up by the full House so soon without committee hearings will likely draw scorn from Democrats, since Republicans have pledged to make the House more open and transparent.

But, GOP sources insist the health care law has been litigated for two years, and say that they do intend to conduct health care hearings. Along with legislation for repeal will be instructions for key House committees to hold hearings on what new health care law should replace it.

Because House Republicans will have such big numbers in their new majority, they likely have the votes to pass the health care repeal. But Republicans admit the repeal will almost surely die in the Senate, where Democrats maintain control.

Given that reality, Republicans say their long term strategy for doing away with the health care law is to try to use Congress' power of the purse to choke funding and make it hard for the administration to implement the law.

Threats of a health care reform repeal by House Republicans did not appear to be rattling the White House.

An aide pointed out that Democrats still control the Senate and it appears highly unlikely that a repeal would pass in that chamber. In addition President Obama could use his veto pen.

Nonetheless, the White House is planning to push back. "We're going to defend the bill [law] and continue to stress all the benefits that are going into effect right now," said the aide.

And White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said, "We're confident about defending the law."

Meanwhile Senate Democratic leaders, anticipating this House Republican move, sent a letter Monday to incoming House Speaker John Boehner warning that repealing the health care law would take away "popular consumer protections that help middle class Americans," including fixing the so-called Medicare "donut hole," which caused higher prescription drug costs for seniors.

"Taking this benefit away from seniors would be irresponsible and reckless at a time when it is becoming harder and harder for seniors to afford a healthy retirement," wrote the Senate Democratic leaders.

Filed under: Health care • House Republicans
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Glenn from Cary

    Aren't there laws against criminal conspiracies? Shouldn't these goons be in jail by now?

    January 3, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Tam

    I'm all right, Jack! I've got my Congressional health coverage.... the hell with my constituents.

    January 3, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. welches, oregon

    The Veto Pen is mighter than the GOP (we don't have an alternative plan) Sword!

    January 3, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. a health economist

    "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,"

    Costs (specifically premiums) were destined to increase after the health care legislation because the insurance industry spent gigantic amount of money, money that wouldn't have been spent otherwise, lobbying to prevent the bill from passing. All businesses pass on increased costs to their consumers.

    As far as keeping your insurance if you like it, if an insurer decides to drop a plan that's their choice. My hunch is the Republicans wouldn't want the big nasty government stepping in and saying a private insurer cannot drop a plan; that's interfering in the market. For the Medicare plans going away that is due to duplication of plans, meaning things are being streamlined and waste in government spending is being eliminated. I certainly think the Republicans are all in favor of reducing waste in spending, aren't they?

    January 3, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. John in Brooklyn

    Wow...I'd think that at a time when the country is facing the worst recession since the Great Depression, is facing a potential fiscal crisis, and is currently engaged in two wars, the new Republican leadership would be more responsible than to put health care repeal at the top of their list. Shows boldly just how much they are shills for the health insurance giants.

    January 3, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. welches, oregon

    All these GOP goons have is "Let's get Obama out of Office". No plans, no alternative, nothing but hate and fear mongering. Nothing to help the people whom Obama is actually TRYING to help if these GOP thugs would just stop playing Party First and start playing Country First (you know, like they say they do).

    January 3, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Shari from Madison

    Well, this is no surpise. The repugnant republicans show their true colors. They do not care about the health of anyone but themselves and their families. By attempting to repeal all of the health care reform, they want to put in place a health care system where if you don't have power and influence and money you don't get health care. They want health care to be rationed so that only those who can afford to pay the huge insurance bills will get help. They will make it so hospitals will only take those who have self high premium insurance and that any person who has a pre-existing condition cannot get insurance. May God have mercy on their souls,

    January 3, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. skokie

    People don't complain you are getting what you voted for in november you all wanted you country back so there it is take it back.

    January 3, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. dave

    If they truly believe it is too expensive, perhaps they could show support by dropping their own government (taxpayer) paid healthcare insurance plan. Refuse their healthcare and all other taxpayer paid perks of Congress, then maybe we'll listen to them a little.

    January 3, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Those that voted for Taliban Representatives get ready! Repeal of Health Care, Social Security, the Postal Service and on and on. Thats why you voted for them isnt it?

    January 3, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. roro

    All hail your elected Republican criminals! 50,000,000 of their constituents with no health care and all they care about is getting back at, and rid of, Obama. How do they sleep at night?

    January 3, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. nintex

    They're not wasting any time trying to do away with something that is good for the people, are they? What is wrong with Republicans that they can't seem to do anything for the every-day, ordinary people that make up most of this country? Why can't they focus on something that is good for the poor, the elderly, the lower-class etc. instead of always looking at the bottom line for big corporations and businesses? This really makes me angry!

    January 3, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. ingrid

    Very upsetting. I will contact their offices to ensure that they know my displeasure. I suggest all who favor health care for all including those with preexisting conditions also contact their representatives.

    January 3, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. GonzoinHouston

    Even the GOP leadership knows this is a waste of time. All they're doing is posturing for their base and trying to pacify the TP's. Reminds me a little of the Clinton impeachment. A totally impossible effort undertaken strictly for vindictive political partisanship. Good luck getting this one through the Senate, guys!

    January 3, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. roro

    How come the new Weeper of the House isn't crying for all those people with no health care? Oh, right, he's got his.

    January 3, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Monster Zero

    Glenn – Yes, there are laws they are founded on the Constit...never mind.

    January 3, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Pennsylvania Super Patriot Deluxe

    How much of this waste of time going to cost the tax payers? heal thyself hypocrit republicans. (that also goes for the dopey and idiotic libritarians-henry miller i am talking to you).

    January 3, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Debra

    Where are the jobs? Healthcare bill is law, forget about it. Create jobs.

    January 3, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    The sooner the better. This bill represents all that's wrong with Washington because it's sole purpose was supposed to be a political win for Obama and it turned out to sacrifice not only the future of our nation's health care industry but hundreds of billions of tax dollars just when we are borrowing money just to keep the country running. Good riddance, Obamacare. We can do better and still get all Americans covered with health insurance. Sorry union bosses. this handout from the Democrats is going away.

    January 3, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    Surprise surprise sirprise,

    It is not like they did not warn us. Now all you idiots who stayed home during the elections will see why they were out of power for 65 years. I thought the last Republican Cogressional Error 1994-2006 was enought o teach America a lesson. I thought wrong.

    January 3, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Pennsylvania Super Patriot Deluxe

    Monster Zero,
    please provide the exact phrase in the Constitution? you quote something you have no idea what it says.

    just as i thought. like your name. Zero

    January 3, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Liberal4Obama

    It takes only 41 votes to filibuster anything in the Senate, republicans own tactics will be used against them, keep wasting your time repealing healthcare instead of focusing on JOBS and the ECONOMY which is what President Obama is doing for the next two years.

    Thank God we have the right man in the WH.

    January 3, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. carrotroot

    What a dumb move by the Republicans, they get back into power and all they care about is settling old scores. Oh well.

    January 3, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. PDXSerric

    Well go ahead and waste time and millions (if not billions) of dollars showboating a full repeal that you already know will fail rather than addressing this in a genuine bipartisan manner and addressing the core issues of genuine concern rather than tossing away the good with the bad. Go ahead… it’s not like we have an economic and unemployment crisis that could better do with the time and effort on our hands or anything.

    If the GOP continues to come swinging with the same practices over the past two years they’re going to all but ensure Obama’s re-election given his popularity at the moment. If they’re smart (which I would not accuse them of being) they’d push a purely bipartisan agenda, showing the American people that it was, in fact, the Democrats holding up progress these past two years by acting solely partisan. In other words – lie.

    January 3, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. Aboud

    Fantastic. Thats why they got my vote. Repeal it, litigate it, or defund it. I don't care what they do just get rid of it. In the end I do not think we will be entirely rid of if but it should be unpleasant as possible to implement.

    January 3, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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