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. Jim from Raytown

    Never was there more hope for a productive cooperation from congress than when Republicans and Democrats worked to bilaterally produce leegistlation as in the session called "Lame". Now the Rebublicans avow that "Lame" is out and "Maim" is in.

    The Republican intent here is to rescind a comprehensive piece of legistlation, eliminating all gains that were included for the public interest, replacing it with watered down, piecemeal, legestlation full of gimmees for the health insurance moguls. smaller bills that can more easily be manipulated by Republicans to provide corporate windfalls to their buddies in the Health Insurance Industry. Insurance costs will return to the same meteoric rises as they were when the industry was deregulated, pre-existing conditions will become, once again, grounds for Denial of Coverage, and the insurance companies will once again become the "death squads" of old.

    How many times does the populace have to be hoodwinked before the message gets across. Politics is power. To Republicans, power translates into maintaining control of gevernment with the intent of promoting profit to the corporations who kleep them in power. To Democrats, power translates fo maintaining control of government with the intent of providing services to the general populace.

    January 3, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. LGNY

    So, what are they proposing to replace it with?

    Do we continue indefinitely the practice of bankrupting those without insurance who need medical treatment? Do we continue to have hospital bills inflated because of all the unpaid bills from the uninsured?

    Here's what's coming:
    a. Mandatory health insurance is killed, including any requirement that employers provide it.
    b. Employers start to drop health insurance coverage claiming that it's too expensive.

    The CEO's make millions and the middle class gets screwed!

    January 3, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Joe

    Repugnantans are so disgusting that I'm almost tired of hearing about them. These clowns are all in the pockets of the wealthy and the health care companies, and managed to convince Americans to vote them into office through blatant lies about health care reform. The actual plan that was enacted is basically a clone of the one REPUGNANTAN Bob Dole proposed in 1996. So how does an essentially republican, right-wing reform law suddenly become "socialist" now?

    Republican voters are apparently convinced that rich health care executives who get RICH by skimping on care to save themselves money are better to have in charge of their children's health than anyone else, and that they deserve to keep getting rich from it. It's insane. The repugs could've gotten voted into office even had their motto been "we'll repeal your health care then kill your pets"....well, the unemployed Texas homemakers who voted these clowns into the majority are about to get a wake-up call when their health insurance companies are allowed to drop them.

    January 3, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. mrprincipal03

    And how would this be promoting the general welfare by taking healthcare away from citizens? Uh, the Republican senate and house have no plan for the general welfare of the citizens, instead they are beholden to the almighty dollar and Well Street and the Banks. Of course after the debacle of Wall Street and the Banks, we don't need no stinking regulation. Folks out there that use logic and reason before making decisions, I'm afraid there aren't enough of us.

    January 3, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These Republican goons are wasting tax payers time and money so how about asking them to repeal their $174.000 a year salary and live off their already accumulated wealth. They aren't serving up justice to the American people, they serving a bunch of hate and bull while getting paid $174,000 a year, you foot the bill.

    January 3, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Mikey

    So their highest priority is a futile, pointless gesture to try to score political points. Good job DBGOP.

    January 3, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. KM

    Smart move by the republicans to say We tried to repeal but he democrats blocked it. They just better hope that it doesn't come back to haunt them. To try and take something that is already given out is HARD to do. Why do you think that the President compromised on the tax cuts? To take that away would mean political suicide.

    January 3, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. jimmy23

    Good. Hope the republicans succeed. Bless their hearts. I'm tired of all these whiny people waging class warfare, hating on the "rich", and using government to steal from their neighbor and give to themselves. If Americans were starving and homeless, it would be a different story. But Americans are fat and the government (ie: "rich" people) pays their rent. Time to slash some social programs and help people learn to succeed on their own. Socialism has not yet killed the American dream.

    January 3, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. JTHawaii

    This is a waste of time, and what's more sad is the Republicans know it. This is pure and simple grandstanding and getting back at Obama. It's the only thing these criminals know how to do.

    January 3, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. atlantic1

    The first order of business of the GOP is a stunning example of why they need to be the minority. Trying to repeal a law that's a start at making positive change in this country and do this above all else- remember jobs?- Their true colors are shining through.

    January 3, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Rob in Det

    "wow" the biggest scam i'v seen in a long time the republicans are real scum along with the tea party they scare people into voting for them by makeing them afraid of the color & religion of the president also has anyone notice the tea party is nothing moore than Republican.yes sir what a scam to get poor people angry& mad , so they can protest aganst their own interest, but in favor of the same people who would forclose,their homes,shiptheir jobs over seas,now thats pimping,yes sir the Republicans get you to blame the pres. & minorities. yes sie that's pimping

    January 3, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. shamgar50

    Republicans have never wanted health care reform. They know they won't get it repealed either. They just want to go on record, for attempting to repeal the Health Care law. It's all politics, and nothing more.

    January 3, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. j p b

    cannot believe it, now that there is something good for most of us , the good old party wants to take it away, and make own self look good, what a stupidity

    January 3, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. PalmReader

    It is great to finally see Congress doing something positive. Health care reform is desparately needed, but Obamacare is worse that what we had. I am glad the GOP is fighting for Americans as hard at the Dems have fought against us.
    In what respect, Charlie, er, I mean scieng. More specifics, and less generalities, please ... else you might as well list your moniker as Sarah Palin, also, too.

    January 3, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Lynne

    I guess if it was only health care for billionaires they would be OK...but since it is for the rest of us, the are going to screw us without a please, thank you or a dinner invite!

    Time to be the fiscal conservatives they say they are and actually save time and on getting jobs back here in the US!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 3, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. mrpilot21

    Seems the majority of the voting public is wrong. Seems like the republicans are wrong. This is simple politics, folks. The majority of the country does not trust the helathcare bill because Congresswoman Pelosi decided to pass the legislation prior to it's reading (this would have afforded a stronger argument, whether for or against). As I regularly do, I blame congress, not the President when these things happen. Sure he signs legislation, but the congress writes it. They denied republican input, so it's payback time- simple scholyard tactics. Be real... both parties act this way. My fear is that some of the bill, the parts which I've read an support, will suffer for the elements which truly need to be reevaluated. Even The president said it was an imperfect bill. This is time to perfect, rather than destroy it. Blue dogs will certainly go with the conservatives on this, if only to preserve their jobs two years from now. I for one, would hope the republican party actually reads this (something the dems did not take the time for) and evaluate rather than use this legislation to 'get back' at the inept 111th congress. To me, that's even pettier than what Congresswoman Pelosi did.

    January 3, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. EddyL

    This political show is as stupid as Palin. They have no chance of repealing or making major changes to the signed law.


    January 3, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. GaryB

    What a piece of meaningless political theater. When the GOP lawmakers give up their taxpayer funded "socialist" healthcare and pension programs, maybe I'll take them seriously. The real job killers have been the Republicans who consistently promote policies that favor the wealthiest corporations (you know, the same corporations that reeled in massive profits last year while denying raises to rank and file employees and forcing salaried workers to work themselves to death) while leading to the demise of small businesses.

    January 3, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. arkieron

    OK CNN. Let's ask what they are going to pass instead. I am all for tort reform and getting competition into the insurance industry. The medicare advantage plans increase the goverments cost of Medicare. But what measures are the GOP going to propose that actually brings down the cost of health insurance and health care? The tax reform bill was a trogan horse for the GOP. The $125 billion will never be put back in the SS trust fund. I see repeal of health care winding up with insurance and drug companies running amuck.

    January 3, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Adaan

    Democrats at the government teet. They can't live wihout all their goverment services. Its pathetic we have have become a nation of blood suckers that cannot fend for ourselves. But based on Obama and all his friends aboce the federal governemnt is the great equalizer. The King of Wealth distribution is what Obama will be in the history books.

    January 3, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. bigboxes

    Bohner just refuses to get it. The elections were not about supporting the GOP's radical agenda. It was about jobs. That's what people are most concerned about. Continue on with this partisan nonsense and they'll quickly be voted out of majority control. Maybe Americans won't be so complacent next election and take our country back from these selfish people that are beholden to the wealthy and special interest groups. And maybe Obama will do a better job communicating in the next couple of years. Part of this is on him. If only he communicated like he did in the elections we'd not be in this mess we are in today.

    January 3, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. JJ

    Who cares. The GOP is nothing but obstructionist all bark, no bite. They know that the repeal will get ZERO traction and would be veto-proof in the Senate anyway, so they go through the motion to put on a show. And that is ALL they can do after their FAILURE in 2010. LMFAO!

    January 3, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Jim from Raytown

    What will the place it with, indeed. If the Repblicans would offer up their proposals for replacement prior to voting on rescinding the Health Care Reform Act (the term Obamacare being derisive and distasteful to describe the act) then we might have some reason to consider. As it is, to rescind it and THEN pass what they want is akin the complaints voiced by the Republicans that Speaker Pelosi wanted everyone to pass the bill before determining the contents. Can't have it both ways, guys.

    January 3, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. where does this leave us?

    ok... repeal, and then???? Are insurance companies going to suddenly drop rates when reform is repeal or will they sky rocket when they realize people aren't going to be mandated to have health insurance?

    January 3, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    " And after they finish cheering for their empty dog and pony show, can we expect them to move onto actually DOING something that will benefit the country?"

    Actually, I do believe this is more accurately analogized to a donkey show in which the middle-class is, unfortunately, the woman.

    January 3, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10