Monday, 03 January 2011

GOP Rep. Hints at ObamaCare Repeal Votes

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Fred UptonPerhaps to the pleasure of Tea Party activists everywhere, Michigan’s Republican Representative Fred Upton has hinted that House Republicans may have the necessary votes to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law. Additionally, Upton indicates that the House Republicans may have enough votes to override a potential presidential veto of the repeal measure.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Representative Upton, incoming Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, stated that a repeal push was on its way, and may come sooner than expected, even before the President’s next State of the Union address.

“As part of our pledge we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal health care early. That will happen before the president’s State of the Union address. We have 242 Republicans. There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when the vote passed in the House, last March; it only passed by seven votes.”

When the House voted in favor of the healthcare law on March 21, the final vote was 219-212. Thirty-five Democrats voted against the bill. The vote was followed by another vote on a package of reconciliation fixes, which also passed.

Upton told Fox News Sunday:

Just wait. If you switched four votes from last March, that bill would have gone down. So we’ll take the Democrats that voted no, we will take other Democrats who probably agree with Speaker Pelosi’s statement. Remember when she said we want to pass this thing because then we’ll learn what’s in it? Well now the American public does know what is in it. Unpopularity numbers are as high as 60 percent across the country. I don’t think we’re going to be that far off from having the votes to actually override a veto.

The Blaze reports, “Overriding a presidential veto requires the support of two-thirds [of] federal lawmakers. The easier approach would be a piece-by-piece rebuttal of the law.”

Upton alluded to such an endeavor as well. “We’ll look at the 1099 issue — [Michigan Rep.] Dave Camps’ committee, Ways and Means — to look at the $600 1099 that has to be processed for every business transaction. We’ll look at the individual mandate requirement and all of those as individual pieces. We are going to take up early the Pitts-Stupak language ‘no funds shall be spent on abortion’ as a separate bill early on. And we will look at the individual pieces to see if we can’t have the thing crumble.”

Of course, the efforts of the House Republicans will face some staunch opposition from a number of Dems. Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, for example, has already issued a warning to thwart any attempts from Republicans to overturn the law, and indicated that overturning ObamaCare could allow for the introduction of a single-payer system.

“If you demolish the new bill and we go back to square one, you still have 50 million who don’t have any coverage, then what’s the option if you can’t have the government, say, by private insurance, which — believe me, as someone would has fought that system I understand that — then the only other option is to say what other industrialized democracies [sic] say, healthcare is a basic right, we’ve got to provide for everyone, we’ll have a single-payer system,” remarked Kucinich. “So my Republican friends who are working very hard to demolish the bill, may, in fact, inadvertently, paradoxically be creating the opening to push single-payer forward again.”

When the healthcare law passed in March 2010, 54 percent of the nation opposed the package, according to Rasmussen Reports. Today, according to that polling agency, a mere 38 percent of the nation continues to support the healthcare overhaul. Sixty percent wish to see it repealed. Rasmussen explains the results:

With Republicans on the brink of taking over the U.S. House of Representatives, voters continue to strongly support repeal of the national health care law passed by Democrats last March, but those who already have insurance are still almost evenly divided as to whether the law will force them to change their coverage.

Seventy-six percent of voters with health insurance now rate their coverage as good or excellent. Only four percent describe it as poor.

But among voters with health care insurance, 45 percent believe the new law will force them to change coverage, with 26 percent who say it is very likely. Forty-six percent think it is unlikely that they will have to change their coverage, including 19 percent [who] say that’s not at all likely to happen.

Clearly, angst over the healthcare law continues to grow, but whether the Republicans will have the gumption to keep their promise to repeal ObamaCare remains to be seen.

Photo: Rep. Fred Upton

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