Republicans Talk Strategy To Repeal
The Associated Press: "... 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. 'Admittedly, it will be difficult with him in the White House,' [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell said. 'But 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'" (11/7).
UPI: "Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who will head the Budget Committee, said: 'We're going to do everything we can to try and repeal and replace" the health care law.' But he cautioned: 'You can't fully repeal and replace this law until you have a new president and a better Senate. And that's probably in 2013'" (11/7).
The Fiscal Times, in an analysis: "After taking symbolic votes to repeal the entire measure, [Republicans] hope to use their new grasp on the government's purse strings in the House to hamstring the administration's ability to carry out the law. But there will be major pitfalls in attempting to carry out this confrontational strategy, not the least of which are political. Many of the bill's provisions are popular, at least the ones that have already gone into effect, including allowing children to be covered by their parents' insurance until age 26. That leaves House Republicans with the option of engaging in trench warfare over specific provisions, where success or failure could be determined by their willingness to engage in the kind of budgetary brinkmanship that led to a government shutdown in 1995-1996" (Goozner, 11/8).
Reuters: "At a panel discussion on Friday at the Harvard School of Public Health, arranged in collaboration with Reuters, health policy experts said the Obama administration's 2010 healthcare law could be nearly unrecognizable within a year. 'We will have seen the leading edge of dismantling this bill through the discretionary spending process,' said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former advisor to Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. 'It will slow down the implementation and put it on a timetable to be solved in the 2012 elections,' said Holtz-Eakin, now president of the policy institute American Action Forum" (Krasny and Gershberg, 11/5).
Related, earlier KHN story: House Takeover Will Give GOP Ways To Attack Health Law (Werber Serafini, 11/2)
Kaiser Health News: "Even if Republicans could wave a magic wand and persuade enough Democrats to change the big federal health law in the next two years, the effort might hurt chances of eventually repealing it, some conservatives say. 'There's a danger to getting rid of the most egregious provisions,' said Tevi Troy, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former top health official in the Bush administration. 'It carries a huge political risk' because it would eliminate political momentum to repeal the full law, he said" (Galewitz, 11/7).
Tribune Washington Bureau/Los Angeles Times: "... the fate of President Obama's sweeping overhaul will probably be determined not in Washington but in state capitals across the country, where the GOP also scored dramatic victories." State Republican leaders could pressure the White House to change some provisions to gain their agreement to help the law work. "And by joining a multistate legal challenge, Republican governors may further embolden conservative judges to invalidate a new requirement that Americans get health insurance beginning in 2014, a key pillar of the healthcare law. The governors-elect of Kansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wyoming have already indicated they want to join the 21 states suing over the law" (Levey and Japsen, 11/7).
Bloomberg: "Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty criticized health care legislation in Congress as he appeared in what may be an early audition for a 2012 presidential bid. 'We've got Congress -- Democratic-controlled Congress -- messing around with a miserable health care bill," he said. "They should be focused like a laser on jobs, not acting like a manure-spreader in a wind storm'" (McCormick, 11/7).
CNN: "'I think Obamacare is one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in the modern history of the country,' Pawlenty of Minnesota said on CNN's 'State of the Union.' 'They (the American people) understand intuitively that what this is going to do will be rationing health care,' Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on the same program" (Schwarz, 11/7).
Related, earlier KHN story: With Newly-Elected Governors, GOP Gains Clout To Fight Health Reform Law (Appleby and Carey, 11/3)
Finally, U.S. News & World Report shares five "painful truths" about the future of health reform, including that though most people will have insurance, it won't fix their chronic health problems. Additionally, new preventive care may make health costs rise and tweaks to the health law may not necessarily be the solution. "The healthcare law is so complicated that seemingly small changes could have unexpected ripple effects. Besides, Republicans probably won't want to make minor tweaks" (Kotz, 11/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.