Entries in Health Care Repeal (15)


House Planning Yet Another Vote to Repeal Healthcare Law

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When it comes to House Republican efforts to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law, it’s a case of, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again -- and then try some more.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has already voted 32 times this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and House Speaker John Boehner says another vote is expected Wednesday afternoon.  The repeal measures have passed in the House but died in the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority.

House Democrats once again are voicing their opposition to GOP efforts, saying there are more pressing issues facing the country.  During a procedural vote Tuesday, Democrat Louise Slaughter of New York said the repeal measure is nothing more than political theater.

Even though all previous 32 House measures have gone nowhere in the Senate, Speaker Boehner is optimistic about vote number 33, saying hope springs eternal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


House Gears Up to Repeal Obamacare -- Again

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Less than two weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the president’s health care reform law, the House of Representatives is set to vote to repeal the legislation again in what Democrats have decried as a political show vote while also embracing it as another opportunity to explain the perks of the law to voters.

Lawmakers will begin debating the GOP’s proposal to repeal the law on Tuesday, with a final vote expected Wednesday afternoon.

To date, the House has voted 30 times to defund, dismantle and repeal the Affordable Care Act.  In one of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives 18 months ago, the House first voted to repeal the health care law on Jan. 19, 2011, passing the measure 245-189.  At the time, just three House Democrats -- Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Mike Ross of Arkansas -- joined the House GOP in supporting repeal.  A month later, repeal failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate 47-51.

Despite an inadequate sum of votes in the Senate to repeal it, House Speaker John Boehner said voting for repeal in the aftermath of the court’s decision will only act to strengthen his party’s resolve.

Now, rank and file Republicans are lining up behind the speaker to show some backbone.

“I don’t think it’s symbolic,” Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., told ABC News Monday evening.  “Now that we know that the truth is out there that this is a tax, we need to be able to let the American people know where we stand.”

Democrats are using the opportunity to renew support for the law, dismissing the GOP’s latest repeal attempt as a “political charade” and “campaign fodder.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., urged Democrats to stay on offense and trumpet the benefits of the law that are already being realized by voters, unlike the defensive posture congressional Democrats took in the 2010 midterm election.

“We’re not going to be defensive or apologetic,” Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, declared.  “Things need to be improved in the law -- we know that -- but repeal of it is something that we should all be very aggressive about not only voting against but make it part of the campaign dialogue or debate that goes on for the next four months.  I think it’s going to help us.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who played a chief role in passing the bill, said the GOP’s attempt to repeal the law is not just about politics, but also what would be taken away from Americans already enjoying assistance mandated by law.

“It’s more than just whether or not they will do it and its politics.  It is about the philosophy that is behind it and who they are willing to hurt and whose side they’re on.  That’s what this vote is about,” DeLauro, D-Conn., said.  “It’s making health care affordable for those who have it and for those who do not have it.  That is what Republicans do not want to have happen.”

But no matter the miniscule odds of successfully repealing the law with the current dynamic of a divided Congress, Republicans remain steadfast in their quest to fulfill a campaign promise that helped propel them into the majority two years ago.

“If you’ve got orders to take a hill, you’re going to keep going until you take the hill,” West, R-Fla., explained.  “The American people don’t want this Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.  It’s heinous, it’s onerous.  They want it gone so we as their representatives are going to continue to do what they sent us up here to do which is every way that we possibly can make sure that this bad policy, this bad law is irradiated from our rolls.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Republican Governors Issue Complaint over Federal Health Care Law

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Twenty-one Republican governors sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday detailing how and why they would like President Obama's health care reform law to be changed.

This move follows a ruling last month by a Florida court which decided the health care overhaul was unconstitutional but did not urge any action to stop its implementation.

The letter signed by the governors presents Sebelius with a six-point plan which is focused around returning power over health care implementation to the individual states.

"We hope the administration will accommodate our states' individual circumstances and needs, as we believe the (law) in its current form threatens to destroy our budgets and perpetuate and magnify the most costly aspects of our health care system," the governors wrote.

The group argues that states should have been allowed more input on the law.

While the GOP governors were busy making their case, the White House also responded Monday afternoon. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered examples of where the new law was already being put into action.

"Last week the state of Wisconsin, despite the attorney general’s participation in the lawsuit, the state of Wisconsin announced that the implementation moves forward.  And I would point out that one of the statehouses in the Commonwealth of Virginia passed by a vote, I think, of 95-3 to begin setting up health care exchanges.  I think that's pretty clear indications that the implementation of this important law move forward," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

The governors of both Virginia and Wisconsin are Republicans. Republican governors from eight states, including Alaska, Arizona, Florida, North Dakota, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wyoming, did not sign the letter. Gibbs said it was likely President Obama had not addressed the letter as of Monday.

"I don't know that we have had specific outreach. I know the Governors Association is in town later this month.  But our policy has and continues to be that implementation moves forward," said Gibbs, hinting at a possible meeting between President Obama and some of the nation's top Republicans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Senate's Repeal of Health Care Law May Come Soon

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate could take steps toward repealing the health care law as soon as Wednesday after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced plans to attach the repeal as an amendment to a federal aviation funding bill that is a big priority for Democrats.

“We pledged to the American people that we would seek to repeal this 2,700-page bill that seeks to restructure all of American health care and put the decisions in Washington.  I’m pleased to announce that all 47 of my members will be voting to repeal Obamacare,” McConnell said Tuesday.  “Everybody will have an opportunity to be on record.  I think it will be clear who is for repeal and who isn’t.”

Republicans see a vote on the amendment as a proxy for a full-scale repeal vote.

“It appears that there’s a plan to divert attention from the first jobs bill we’ve had in some time,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.  “The FAA bill is important.  We’re going to do everything we can to get rid of these amendments.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of this week’s ruling by a federal judge in Florida that struck down the health care law (without preventing its implementation), Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., plans to hold a hearing Wednesday on the constitutionality of the law.

“If one robin doesn’t make a spring then one Florida judge doesn’t make a repeal,” Durbin said of the ruling.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


House Passes Bill Repealing Health Care Law 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- After two days of lively debate, the House of Representatives Wednesday voted to repeal the health care law, even as Democrats and Obama administration officials used the renewed debate to highlight its benefits.

On Thursday, the House will hold another vote calling on four committees to begin work on crafting a replacement bill that will yank some of the most contentious parts of the bill, such as the changes to Medicare Advantage and the requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance by 2014. In nearly two days of debate, Republicans argued against the idea that the bill would create jobs and cut costs, while Democrats touted the benefits of the new law and the negative impact on Americans were it to be repealed.

The bill has little chance of being taken up in the Democratically-controlled Senate, but GOP lawmakers said their vote was still important.

"This is not symbolic. This is why we were sent here," Rep. Michelle Bachman, R-Minn., founder of the Tea Party caucus said on the House floor Wednesday.

The House Republican leadership instead challenged the Senate Democratic leadership to bring it up for debate.

But President Obama is unlikely to sign any bill that would repeal the $1 trillion health care law.

"I'm willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act. But we can't go backward," the president said in a statement Tuesday.

A majority of Americans continue to oppose the law, which will bring a myriad of changes to the U.S. health care system in the next few years.

Forty-six percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, released Tuesday, think the law is likely to cut jobs, eight points more than those who think it will create them. Even more, 54 percent, think the law is more apt to hurt than help the economy, and 62 percent see it as increasing rather than decreasing the federal deficit.

Yet, most Americans do not want to see the law repealed. Only 37 percent of those polled favored repealing all or parts of the law. The rest either support it, or want to wait and see its effects.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Criticisms of Health Law Resonate, but Repeal Is Another Matter

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the eve of a repeal vote in the House, more Americans continue to oppose than support the health care reform law, with broad suspicions it'll hurt the economy, boost the deficit and -- by a narrower margin -- cut jobs. But repealing it is another matter.

Forty-six percent in the ABC News/Washington Post poll think the law is likely to cut jobs, eight points more than those who think it'll create them. More, 54 percent, think it's more apt to hurt than help the economy. And 62 percent see it as increasing rather than decreasing the federal deficit.

For all that, fewer than four in 10 -- 37 percent -- favor repealing all or parts of the law; the rest either support it, or want to wait and see. And just 18 percent favor repealing it entirely, as the Republican leadership in Congress seeks to do.

The results underscore the public's love-hate relationship with the law, which contains popular elements (e.g., extending coverage) with unpopular ones (e.g., paying for it). It appeals to worries about future coverage and costs -- but also raises concerns about its effects, wrapped in skepticism about government involvement in the health care system.

On balance this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds that 50 percent of Americans oppose the health care reform law overall, while 45 percent support it -- similar to the record 52-43 percent negative verdict last month. That was its only foray into outright majority opposition; it's never received outright majority support.

Opposition comes mostly, but not entirely, from people who say the law does too much. Critics include 35 percent of Americans who say the law goes too far in changing the health care system -- but also 13 percent who say it doesn't go far enough. Among the law's supporters, moreover, more than half say it "should have done more," although they'll take it anyway.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


House Dems Highlight Hazards of Health Care Repeal

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- One day before House Republicans try to repeal the new health care law, Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday tried to highlight how the move could negatively affect Americans.

“Why we are doing this -- other than playing to the vanity of the extremely conservative right wing of the Republican party -- is beyond me,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., at a House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.

A panel of witnesses described how health care repeal could hurt them in the future. Stacie Ritter of Lancaster, Pa., the mother of twin daughters who have been diagnosed with leukemia, described how she and her husband ended up bankrupt even though they have full insurance coverage. Ritter urged lawmakers to fight against repeal, emphasizing how much the new law meant to her and others.

“You have no idea how much it meant to a lot of people,” she told the panel. “I know you only got to hear the bad because that’s all that the news will play, but believe me it was greatly, greatly appreciated.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Department of Health & Human Services released a new administration analysis that estimated the law will, when it fully kicks in three years from now, prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to as many as 129 million Americans who have some type of pre-existing health condition.

It is all part of an effort by Democrats to win public support for the reforms.

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, President Obama and Republicans are tied for the first time in trust to handle health care, with trust in Obama dropping nine points since last month to a new low, and trust in the GOP gaining four points.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Health Care Repeal Debate Set to Begin

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives will begin debate Tuesday on the contentious two-page health care repeal bill spearheaded by the Republican leadership, after a week-long hiatus following the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

GOP leaders say they will continue to frame the health care debate and the bill as one about a law that they believe costs U.S. jobs.

There are no plans or discussions to take out the phrase "job killing" from the title of the controversial bill, even as some Democrats argue that it should be removed as part of lawmakers' pledge to pursue a more civil political discourse in the wake of the deadly Tucson rampage.

Conservatives say the real nature of the debate is unlikely to change, although the tone is likely to be tempered.

"I think you'll see a more civil debate than you would have had otherwise," Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona said on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday.  "I'm not sure the substance of the debate will change that much.  I think Republicans are committed to repealing the law in the House, obviously.

"But I do think that the tone will change, and that's a good thing.  I think it was a good decision to put it off for a week."

House Speaker John Boehner adjusted his own tone this weekend, calling the Democrats' and President Obama's spending spree "job-destroying," instead of "job killing," a term that he has used liberally in recent months.  Boehner's aides denied that the change was intentional or planned, and that he has also used the term "job destroying" in the past.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


House Expected to Resume Health Care Repeal Next Week

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After delaying a vote in the House of Representatives to repeal the health care reform law this week in the wake of the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. last weekend, a top Republican leadership aide says that the attempt to overturn the controversial law is expected to resume next week.

“As the White House noted, it is important for Congress to get back to work, and to that end we will resume thoughtful consideration of the health care bill next week,” Brad Dayspring, spokesman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor, said. 

Cantor, R-Va., had delayed two days of scheduled legislative business this week in the wake of Saturday’s massacre in Tucson, Ariz. that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, left six dead and 12 others shot.

Members from both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives streamed to the floor Wednesday to speak out against the shooting before unanimously passing a resolution denouncing the attempted assassination on Giffords, D-Arizona, and honoring the victims and heroes of the tragedy.

House Democrats and Republicans also received security briefings Wednesday before holding a bipartisan prayer service in the Capitol.

With the House out of session next Monday on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act could come to the floor as soon as Tuesday.

“Americans have legitimate concerns about the cost of the new health care law and its effect on the ability to grow jobs in our country,” Dayspring said. “It is our expectation that the debate will continue to focus on those substantive policy differences surrounding the new law.”

The House has set aside seven hours of debate on the repeal law. If the House maintains its pace, a vote to topple the legislation could be possible as soon as next Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to the shooting, repeal was expected to pass in the House of Representatives, but its chances at passing in the Senate were thought to be unlikely. Even if a potential Senate vote to repeal the law passed, it does not appear likely that either chamber of Congress has the votes to override a presidential veto.

The House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business on Tuesday. Dayspring says the official detailed floor schedule will be released Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Health Care Repeal Vote Postponed after Arizona Shooting

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In his second written statement Saturday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has announced that the House will delay its efforts to repeal the health care law next week as well as other legislative business "so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today’s tragedy."

Lawmakers voted last week to schedule debate and a vote on repealing health care reform on Wednesday. Repeal was expect to pass in the House, but chances were less likely in the Senate and the White House threatened to veto it.

A House GOP retreat in Baltimore next week could also be delayed in the aftermath of Saturday's shooting at an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.

 “All legislation currently scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives next week is being postponed so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today’s tragedy," Cantor said in a statement. "Further information relating to a revised House schedule will be released tomorrow.”

The Virginia Republican added:

“Our nation was shocked by the tragedy in Arizona earlier today. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and others became the victims of a senseless act of violence. Congresswoman Giffords serves Arizona’s 8th District with distinction and thoughtful leadership, and it is horrifying that she was exposed to such violence at an event designed to reach the people she represents. I couldn’t agree more with Speaker Boehner, who earlier said that, ‘an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.’ Along with our nation, this institution has suffered a horrible tragedy. We are saddened, mourn those who lost their lives, and stand together in hopeful prayer for the recovery of the victims and their families."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio