House starts health care repeal debate

by
January 19, 2011

Washington (CNN) — House Republicans moved one step closer Tuesday to fulfilling their 2010 campaign promise to repeal President Barack Obama’s controversial health care overhaul.

GOP leaders started a formal debate on a measure to repeal the overhaul, and have scheduled a repeal vote for Wednesday. The new Republican congressional majority, in keeping with its “repeal and replace” mantra, will then instruct various House committees to craft alternatives to the law.

It is time to repeal this “job-stifling, cost-increasing, freedom-limiting law,” declared Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas.

While the measure is expected to pass the new Republican-led House, it has little chance of clearing the Democratic-controlled Senate or surviving a presidential veto.

Most Republicans have acknowledged the virtual impossibility of an outright repeal, but have indicated there will be attempts to defund portions of the measure or eliminate specific provisions in the months ahead.

Top Democrats, meanwhile, tore into the Republican effort, warning that a reversal would be catastrophic to small businesses and unfair to millions of Americans depending on the reform to guarantee coverage.

“We will stand firm against any attempts to prevent (people) from having access to quality health care,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

The Department of Health and Human Services released an analysis Tuesday morning warning that almost 130 million non-elderly Americans with pre-existing conditions would be at risk of losing their insurance without the guarantees provided by the legislation.

“The new law is already helping to free Americans from the fear that an insurer will drop, limit or cap their coverage when they need it most,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “Americans living with pre-existing conditions are being freed from discrimination in order to get the health coverage they need.”

To read more, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/01/18/health.care/

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