House Republicans launch all-out assault on health care law

July 11, 2012

By Tom Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) — House Republicans continue their all-out assault on President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law Wednesday, with a planned vote to repeal the measure.

The vote will be the latest of more than 30 House GOP efforts to undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act, including previous Republican-led moves to repeal the measure or cut funding for various provisions.

Any House repeal effort is sure to die in the Democratic-led Senate, and the White House made clear Obama would veto such a measure.

At news conferences, in media interviews and before congressional panels on Tuesday, GOP opponents of the health care law depicted it as an unwarranted government intrusion in health decisions that would reduce patients to commodities treated on a cost basis.

“This is all about the government. It is Washington knows best, and it is wrong,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Michigan, in floor debate ahead of the Wednesday vote.

Republicans also complained that the bill known as Obamacare would fail to control spiraling health care costs, and that it included new taxes and fees despite the president’s promise not to raise middle-class taxes.

To Democrats, the entire exercise was an unnecessary repetition of past political posturing on a settled issue, now that the Supreme Court has upheld the law’s constitutionality.

“This repeal vote is a waste of time and tax dollars,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, noted, “We’ve had this debate so many times that it really sounds like we just keep repeating the same thing.”

Other legislators tried to liven up the rhetoric with references to popular culture. Democrats mentioned the movie “Groundhog Day,” about a character forced to live the same day over and over, while Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, likened Republican obsessiveness on the issue to the Glenn Close character in “Fatal Attraction.”

Wondering if Republicans had “finally hit their ‘boil the bunny’ moment” — a gruesome incident in the film — Murphy challenged GOP colleagues to work with Democrats on moving forward “instead of channeling their inner Glenn Close.”

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