A clash of political will over health care reform is looming over the House of Representatives and set to engage as early as next week. Democrats now in the minority are moving fast to discredit the move to repeal the landmark legislation passed last March.
|Speaker John Boehner could|
call for a vote on repeal as
early as Jan. 12.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) went out of their way Tuesday to provide talking points against Republicans who aim to put repeal of health care reform up for a vote in Congress at the behest of a large number of Tea Party candidates who were swept into government last November.
HHS said repeal of health care reform bill will add over $1 trillion to an already outsized deficit. In California alone, 196,000 young adults under 26 will lose insurance coverage gained through their parents’ plans. Over 4.5 million seniors may be forced to dole out co-pays for preventative services and annual check-ups, while nearly 270,000 Medicare beneficiaries will incur higher prescription drug costs.
In addition, the HHS also warned key sections of the law would be dismantled, including forcing insurance companies to pay out a minimum of 80 percent of premiums on services. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, in his first official act today, required insurers to meet the required threshold in advance of likely opposition to the plan on Capitol Hill. Current state law calls puts health insurance companies on the hook for 70 percent.
The likelihood of repeal is very remote given Democrats still control the Senate along with the backup of a presidential veto if it were somehow manage to gain a majority in both chambers. Republicans have mentioned pulling apart the legislation in a piecemeal fashion, which ironically, is how Democrats cobbled together enough vote for passage last year without a super majority in the Senate. A victory for repeal in the House, though, would be highly symbolic and pose a problem for Democrats in 2012. “All of this slows it down, by slowing it down it gives us a real opportunity, when we take over the Senate and or the White House in 2012, to take this law apart piece by piece," a Senate Republican aide told Reuters.
It is clear, the outcome of the process Republicans use to repeal reform in the House will go a long way in showing just how loud the tenor of anger in the party against the current administration portends for easing gridlock in the Capitol and how the loss of a part of Democrat's possession of the Senate and White House stymies the president's agenda for the next two years.
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