Monday, 08 November 2010

Obamacare May Not Be Repealed Until 2012

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While voters speculate on the likelihood that the GOP will maintain its campaign promise to repeal ObamaCare, Republicans preparing to lead the House Budget Committee admit that it is unlikely to get a repeal of the healthcare law as long as President Obama can veto it. House Republicans continue to assert, however, that they will move forward on a vote.

If the vote fails, however, Wisconsin’s young Republican Rep. Paul Ryan indicates that Republicans can slow the progress of ObamaCare by defunding any of its rollouts, but adds that the President would have to sign off on that legislation as well.

The Blaze comments, “The reality remains that Republicans do not have enough seats to marshal through a full repeal if Democrats remain steadfast in their support. Even if Republicans were able to sway enough Democrats to support their effort, it would face a certain veto from Obama.”

According to Fox News, “Cognizant of missing a presidential signature, Republicans are still looking at court challenges and other congressional maneuvers to stop enactment of elements of the law.”

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader, asserts:

We’re willing to look at all the varying pieces if Congress fails to get a veto. It will be difficult to repeal the law with the president there. We know he feels this is his signature accomplishment ... [but] we will be revisiting this time after time.

If we can put a full repeal on his desk and replace it with the kind of commonsense forms that we were advocating during the debate to reduce spending, we owe it to the American people to do that.

McConnell’s indications that the GOP intends to replace ObamaCare do little to assuage the anxiety of constitutionalists who support a full repeal of ObamaCare without replacement, contending that the federal government has no constitutional right to regulate healthcare.

Undeterred by speculation over the difficulties the GOP faces in repealing the law, California’s Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" alongside Rep. Ryan, indicated that in his role as House oversight committee chairman, he is currently seeking alternative methods to stop the healthcare law, including preventing “administration earmarks: "They call them 'competitive grants,' he noted, but likened them to a “slush fund” that Cabinet officials are granted for their departments because Congress doesn’t require the departments to designate “where you’re going to put that money.”

Likewise, on "Fox News Sunday," Ryan declared Tuesday’s election to be “an electoral repudiation” of Obama’s agenda. He admitted, however, that unfortunately it may take another election in 2012 before the healthcare law would be fully stopped in its tracks, not so subtly hinting that voters should reject a second term for President Obama.

On ABC’s "This Week," Kentucky’s Republican Senator-elect Rand Paul noted that 70 percent of his state's voters want to see ObamaCare repealed, or at least want the state attorney general to challenge its constitutionality.

I think there are some real constitutional questions. It’s going forward. [Federal judges] in both Florida and Virginia have said, yes, we’re going to go forward with this. So I think you will see that go forward and we will challenge it in the courts. And also, we should try to repeal it.

Also, Tea Party leader and South Carolina’s Republican Sen. Jim DeMint told "Meet the Press" that repealing and defunding ObamaCare was a top priority for the Republican agenda:

We have to stop the funding of Obamacare and over the next two years show the American people what the real options are to improve the system we have now.

The first step is obviously to — to defund it. And I think we can do that with Republicans controlling the House. I think the next Republican running for president needs to run on complete repeal of Obamacare.

Illinois Senator-elect Mark Kirk furiously spoke out against the healthcare law as a member of the House. Five additional Senate seats went to the GOP, including the ones now occupied by Russ Feingold, Tom Perriello, and Earl Pomeroy, all of whom forcefully defended their vote in favor of Obamacare.

It is clear from the results of the midterm elections that American voters are interested in repealing ObamaCare. According to Fox News, “During the campaign, Republicans ran against the legislation while most Democrats ran away from it, with some stumbling over themselves. In the end, 35 Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill lost re-election.”

Various polls illustrate voters' disaffection with the President's healthcare bill: A Wall Street Journal poll noted that 84 percent of voters indicated their votes were affected by ObamaCare; exit polls found 48 percent of voters in favor of repeal; while a November 1 Rasmussen poll indicated 61 percent of Americans want the legislation repealed.

Unfortunately, some Republicans remain lukewarm about taking on the whole of ObamaCare, including Sen. Joe Barton, who appears more interested in repealing only parts of the legislation, while maintaining the law overall.

Photo: In this March 20, 2010, file photo Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., testifies before the House Rules committee as it meets to discuss health care legislation: AP Images

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