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Dems say GOP would add red ink

Dec. 27, 2010 at 3:11 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Democrats say Republicans would add to the federal deficit by repealing U.S. healthcare reform without offsetting its projected $143 billion in savings.

Democrats accused Republicans of being ready to turn on the red ink spigot after campaigning for fiscal restraint during the midterm elections.

"Republicans win the award for fastest flip-flop ever," a House Democratic aide told the Washington publication The Hill. "They haven't been sworn in yet, and they're already proposing to increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars."

New GOP-approved rules allow the House Budget Committee to "make appropriate budget adjustments" to account for the repeal of the reform law before adopting a fiscal 2012 budget plan, House aides say. Healthcare reform is forecast to save $143 billion over 10 years.

James Horney, director of federal fiscal policy for the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said the Republican plan is "bad for the budget."

"It would increase deficits, and Democrats should certainly make that case," he said.

The Hill said a spokeswoman for incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., wouldn't flesh out the party's repeal plans.

"The new Republican majority in the House will hold a straight up-or-down vote on the full repeal of the entire healthcare law," spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said.

On Thursday, House Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the new rules "a first step towards delivering on the pledge Republicans made to address Americans' top priorities: cutting spending, creating jobs and reforming the way Washington works."

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