GOP to renew healthcare law repeal efforts

Dec. 2, 2011 at 11:38 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. congressional Republicans will renew their call to repeal healthcare reform laws in bits and pieces, not all at once, members of both parties say.

Back in January, the new House Republican majority's first major legislative effort was a highly publicized, party-line vote to repeal the entire law, which came to nothing in the Senate. Now, though Republicans said they will focus on two provisions of the reform that could put Democrats and President Obama in a tough spot as the 2012 election nears -- the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which Republicans have characterized as a Medicare rationing board, and the CLASS Act, a program the Obama administration put on hold that would have provided daily benefits for people with disabilities if they've paid monthly premiums for at least five years, The Hill reported Friday.

The goal is to keep the spotlight on controversial portions of the healthcare law while the Supreme Court rules on the unpopular individual mandate.

Democrats say they know healthcare reform will be re-litigated in 2012, and some welcome the challenge.

"This won't be settled until after the next election. [Republicans] are going to keep coming after [the law]," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. "I think that's going to be beneficial for us, because more and more people in America are seeing the benefits of the healthcare act [such as] elderly people who are now getting their annual check-ups."

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