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. Matt

    Bold? More like insanely stupid and counterproductive.

    January 3, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Carmelle

    This is just to show how mad they are that the bill passed. Nothing more, nothing less. Meanwhile, jobs have not even crossed their minds.

    January 3, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. Dan in FL

    First of all, the health care bill passed last year did not create government run health care – it created mandatory insurance coverage. If you want to talk about government run health care, then let's talk about VA hospitals. These facilities are the epitome of socialized medicine, but I don't hear anyone clamoring to shut them down. Two reasons: they serve veterans and for the most part, they work.

    January 3, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. Palermo

    Considering the healthcare law is being phased in over a 4 year period, and the first parts of the law dealing with insurance company spending and profit margins just became law a couple of days ago, isn't it a bit premature to pronounce it a total failure? Also, there is nothing whatsoever in the new law that says you cannot keep your current health insurance if you like it or want to.

    January 3, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. Rudy Gonzales

    Hey! McConnell, Boehner, what we really need is jobs. Y'all were sent to Washington to create jobs for America, not pomp and grandiose all around acting like y'all don't stink. Y'all stink to high heaven with the antics y'all are pulling. Get off this stupid topic cause no matter what y'all do, it ain't gonna work. You're gonna lose in the Senate. We know y'all want to make a statement but y'all need to get to work and fix this economy that was left to us by the Wall Street high-rollers and Banker millionaires. Everyone know the actions the 111th Congress took was right as it saved numerous jobs here in America. You and your cronies have impeded President Obama's every attempt to keep jobs here in America. What y'all need to do is pass laws that punish corporations for outsourcing jobs to third world countries. Y'all should pass laws that would curb the US Chamber of Commerce for continuing to assist foreign countries to take jobs out of the U.S. And while your at it pass laws that make nonprofit 501(c)4 organizations totally transparent who donates to whom and how much when it comes to any political office at the local, state and national levels. Y'all can also fund the Border Patrol fully so that they can monitor and keep our borders safe. Y'all should start on that. I'll be back to further direct y'all since no one there has any real ability to "Man Up" and do the right thing! Y'all take care now......

    January 3, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Indy

    Boo Hoo Boehner should be crying in the house, just as he did when he saw young children without the hope of the American Dream. He surely would ball for days if he had any care for the children that have no hope of ever having healthcare. The Republicans simply make me puke ! Every one of them is the devil in disquise and they lied their way back into the house with the help of the Tea Party and now they have their priority set at attacking something odd.

    January 3, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. jim

    the republicans have shown time and time again that they are not for the common american. I see no reason I should vote for one any time soon.

    January 3, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. David, CA

    Soon to be replaced with the GOP "Get Sick/ Die Quick" plan. Just don't call it a Death Panel or their heads will implode.

    January 3, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. Dr Matrix

    Not that it really matters to these people. As a friend of mine said, this healthcare reform may not be the answer, but it happened because the insurance companies have screwed the public's butt until it bled. But that's OK with these vermin.

    January 3, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. Bessy

    I guess the first question to ask people, is: Did you vote in this last election ? If so, who did you vote for ? If you voted for the Republicans you are getting exactly what you asked for. They ran on this agenda, so why are you upset ? If you didn't, as I didn't, vote for these fools, then we had all better hope that the Democrats can stand up to them and stop all of their nonsense. These Republicans do not give a damn about anybody but themselves and their rich friends.

    January 3, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Otto

    I have said this many times and it seems no one listen. The ignorance of the American voters speaks louder than thunder. The most ignorant Americans live in the middle and rust belt States, backward, ignorant and simply stupid. They are the same ones without healthcare, the same ones that trly on medicaid and medicare BUT they don't know how they receive these tax payer services.
    They prefer to drive on unpaved roads, go without running water and indoor plumbing, collect their daily meals via food stamps and are the same people who complain about government take over. You get what you vote for and since ignorance is bliss, your stupidity will be far more important than evil.

    January 3, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. Chipster

    Their first efforts include wasting time and money on 1) useless investigations and 2} attempts to repeal health care reform that will not get past the Democratic Senate or the Presidential veto! Gee, I'm so impressed. They campaigned against waste, fraud, and useless spending – now they're participating in all three. They're complete frauds!

    January 3, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Joshua Ludd

    Nice to know they will be wasting our time from the very start... trying to pass legislation that they know won't make it past the other house of congress, much less past the president. Thats what we really need during all these crises...

    January 3, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  14. thisoldlady

    This 77 year old lady, undergoing the last of a crueling 14 month treatment for breast cancer made the effort to vote, but where were the rest of the middle-of-the-roaders? Ignoring the elections, that's what! Tea-Partiers, the whole screaming lot of them voted. Lord help us if there would be health care for all! Or if the CEO's would actually make reasonable salaries instead of millions and millions per year. Socialism! Yikes! However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating (sorry Michelle O.) and now Republicans have to demonstrate how to improve things, create jobs and cut the deficit at the same time without cutting Medicare, Social Security and the Defense budget. No longer govern by saying NO, it will be fun to watch. America is a strong country and we will survive this as well!
    PS – During those horrendous months of chemo, surgery, radiation, monoclonal antibodies, etc. etc. I truly thanked God for my (Government funded) Medicare Advantage plan, without this husband (84) and I would probably be homeless!
    PPS – What amused me no end was all those old white Tea Party heads living off Social Security and Medicare protesting Government interference, to dumb to realize that without Government help they'd be living under a bridge and/or probably long dead!

    January 3, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. prezisanusurper

    The GOP & TP are here to stay. Get used to it. Begin to tremble in 2012 as we're taking over the entire administration, to reduce the size of the fed. govt and the deficit, to get back to the principals of the Constitution.

    January 3, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. La Trease Banks

    Our new senator-elect in Arizona is sounding off about low income healthcare in Arizona. ACCHSS will only cover a single person who make $906.00 monthly. What is a person who works at Burger King or Wal-Mart to do? They make more than that and aren't eligible for workplace insurance. Should a person who makes $907.00 a month be subject to the astrinomical price of healthcare? No one has sufficiently answered THAT question for me throughout this whole healthcare debate.

    January 3, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. Caren Williams

    The House GOP will reap what they sow. The POTUS is still in charge and will continue to represent this Country. The opportunity will present itself when the GOPs will have to represent our Country policies abroad and unfortunately in the time of trouble they will get no support because the World is watching this hypocrisy. God is also watching and for the love of money is the root of all evil. With every move the GOP make it is associated with making the rich richer. I am a shame.
    Praying for Our Country!!!

    January 3, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. CaliforniaBC

    1st the GOP needs to have the CBO figures for a repeal thrwn squarely in their faces. It costs MORE to repeal it PLUS the CBO shows it WILL reduce the deficit by millions of dollars. So this repeal attempt is a waste of time.

    2nd, it has not gone fully into effect so they have nothing to say about how much prices have been reduced. In addition, it has been shown that insurance companies wanted to raise rates astronomically before the reform. Look at Blue Cross in CA who tried to raise rates by 39%. Premiums haven't gone up by that much since the reform. No one said premiums wouldn't go up, just that the rate they do increase would be reduced. I've seen that number as compared to that 39% as an average of 14%. That's a helluva lot better now isn't it?

    AND 3rd...I am sick and tired the Republicans standard response to everything... "It's a job killer". If every piece of legislation they said was a job killer then why is it that the private industry has been hiring again for over a year now after the GOP left the country in ruins?

    January 3, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Paul Ernest Show

    It's another GOP empty, cheap and deceptive practice. Another hoax, to look busy doing nothing. If the GOP sincerely believe in waste, the party should immediately redirect its goals and do things that are more beneficial to the American people. And the sad thing is the GOP knows what it intends to do is counter-productive for America. They do not have the votes since Dems control the senate and we have the president's veto power. Knowingly engaging in a fruitless exercise while getting paid with our taxes, is "cheating on our clock", and America cannot succeed on that.

    January 3, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. Matt in ABQ

    How dumb is the GOP? No one cares about Healthcare any more. We want jobs, lower debt and be out of a war. Thank God that they no nothing. They will take the chance they had to further their party and ruin it, by fighting a fight that only they care about. Then Obama will be re-elected and they will wonder why and then they will lose massive seats in Congress again. It it amazing how stupid Americans are in electing these idiots year after year. If this continues America will be gone in forty years. These people have no idea what an average Americans life is like. In addition Americans need to stop supporting the religious right and vote for what is in their best interest, not God's best interest.

    January 3, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. carpenter from vegas

    Why doesn't someone ask them if they have read the heath care bill?

    January 3, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. J. Richter

    There goes the jobs focus and working for the people. First the hostage situation where no one will get tax cuts until our constituents – the rich get theirs (an action that has created -1.8million jobs since it was first tried). Then this. Of course muck it all up and destroy all jobs so Obama can be a one termer. They started off by handing him off -788K jobs a month, on Jan 2009, -6.4% GDP loss a quarter, housing collapse, entire crash and bailouts and told him to go solve the puzzle.

    January 3, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. Robrob

    "But Republicans admit the repeal will almost surely die in the Senate, where Democrats maintain control."


    January 3, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. Jim in PA

    I think Obama should challenge the GOP 'repealers' to have a simultaneous replacement for the healthcare bill in place if they are serious about this. At least they would have a chance to contribute and we would likely end up with something better than what was passed. I'm not bashing the bill as it is, but it was passed with the Right pouting in the corner. They let us down by not engaging. They'll say they did, but I watched and read the Sunday morning political discussions and the they failed to fight for the things that Dems, by DNA, could not. Like tort reform and such.

    Let the new blood actually do something to earn their stripes. If I were in charge, I'd make sure this congress actually earn their stripes. It won't be easy, or maybe it would be impossible. But, I'd really like to see the Dems engage the GOP in this way. We need health care reform, and simply repealing is a waster of time. IMO, what we had is far worse than than what we have.

    January 3, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  25. Fittinguy

    More grand-standing and more do-nothing Congressmen. The House vote will not carry to the Senate and the President has veto power. The congress would serve us better if they work to solve problems not hold symbolic do nothing votes.... GET TO WORK!!!

    January 3, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10