Congressional Republicans: Repealing Healthcare First on the Agenda

January 4, 2011

The new Congressional term has not even begun and already, Reuters is reporting that the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are planning to pass a bill repealing President Obama’s health care reforms, though it is expected that the bill will ultimately fail in the Senate.

When the new Congress convenes tomorrow with Republicans controlling the House in the wake of Novembers midterm elections, they’ll be set to move ahead with their campaign promise to attempt to repeal the new healthcare law, which the Obama administration considers to be one of their greatest legislative victories.

According to Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for incoming House Republican leader Eric Cantor, the House plans to vote on their repeal bill on January 12th. “It will pass the House,” he said.

While Republicans will control the House with a margin of 242 – 193, the Democrats retain control of the Senate with a 53-47 margin and are likely to block any repeal of the healthcare reform laws.

Dayspring said, “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.”

Republicans, especially the extremely fiscally conservative ones, swore to attack healthcare reform after their party did well in last November’s elections. Still, Senate Democrats warned them against repealing a provision which closes a coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug program for senior citizens.

In a letter to incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner, the Democrats wrote, “If House Republicans move forward with a repeal of the healthcare law that threatens consumer benefits like the ‘donut hole’ fix, we will block it in the Senate.” They added, “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.”

In addition to other provisions, the healthcare reform package that went into effect last spring extends healthcare insurance to millions of Americans without coverage. Despite this, voters seem to be split over it when polled, and the reform laws have become a favorite target of the Republicans who claim it is an excessive reach by the Federal government.

And if repeal fails? The Republicans will still yield considerable power over the government purse strings and will try to use it to deny the Obama administration access to the funds necessary to implement the new laws.

Dayspring said the House will hold a procedural vote on Friday in preparation for the Jan. 12 vote.