GOP Leaders Say Health Law Repeal Is A Top Priority; Obama Hopes To Find ‘Common Ground’
Reuters: "Representative John Boehner, expected to be named the next speaker of the House of Representatives, vowed on Wednesday to repeal health care reforms pushed into law by the Obama administration. 'I believe that the healthcare bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best healthcare system in the world, and bankrupt our country,'" Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told a news conference" today (Lawder, 11/3).
National Journal: Boehner, the "speaker-in-waiting," gave the first signals today of the health law's future might be while he was speaking with reporters Wednesday at the Capitol, saying "repealing healthcare remains a top GOP priority. 'The American people are concerned about the government takeover of healthcare. I think it is important for us to lay the groundwork before we begin to repeal this monstrosity and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance in America.'" House Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence added that the House GOP "will not rest" until the health overhaul is repealed "lock, stock and barrel." He also said the Republican intent would be to "do everything in our power to pass legislation to completely start over." Boehner did not, however, offer specifics for the timing of this effort (Kaplen and House, 11/3).
USA Today: "Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., in line to take over as House majority leader, said the driving issue in his party's success was the economy. 'Jobs first,' he said in describing the GOP's priorities. Rolling back Obama's health care initiative also will be a goal, he said. 'There's no question, last night indicated again that the majority of Americans want to see the repeal of Obamacare'" (Schouten and Eisler, 11/3).
Fox News: Meanwhile, on Wednesday, President Obama appealed to both parties "to find 'common ground'" but he also stood by by his administration's policies. "The news conference in Washington gave Obama his first opportunity to explain what his approach will be to a split Congress, with Republicans decisively in charge of the House and cutting deep into the Democrats' majority in the Senate. Pressed for specifics, Obama suggested he'd be open to joining Republicans in calling for a moratorium on earmarks and taking a second look at a controversial provision in the health care law that requires businesses to file 1099 tax forms for large purchases" (11/3).
Los Angeles Times: "Obama said that both sides could work on economic issues, dealing with the budget deficit and that he was even open to some changes to the healthcare insurance overhaul, one of the centerpieces of his tenure and one of the GOP's main targets during the midterm elections. 'If the Republicans have ideas for how to improve our healthcare system, if they want to suggest modifications that would deliver faster, more effective reform. I am happy to consider some of those ideas,' Obama said" (Parsons and Muskal, 11/3).
The Associated Press: "Many Republicans campaigned by calling for repeal of the health care legislation Obama won from Congress, but the president said repeal was a nonstarter. ... 'There are going to be some examples of where we can tweak and make progress,' he said." But he said he didn't think that "if you ask the American people, 'should we stop trying to close the doughnut hole that helps seniors get prescription drugs, should we go back to where people with pre-existing conditions can't get health insurance ... I don't think you'd have a strong vote from people saying, 'Those are provisions I want to eliminate'" (Pace, 11/3).
The New York Times' The Caucus Blog: About GOP efforts to repeal the health law, the President signalled he was open to "tweaks" but did "not intend to engage in a broad debate over its fate. 'We'd be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years re-litigate the arguments that we had for the last two years,' Mr. Obama said." And "like he did during the campaign, Mr. Obama challenged Republicans to support or oppose the popular provisions of the legislation, such as ending the practice of denying health insurance to those with pre-existing conditions" (Shear, 11/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.