Republican leaders talk fixing health care law, as repeal seems unlikely

Posted by David Lightman on October 29, 2013 

Leading Republicans are figuring repealing the 2010 health care law is a longshot as long as Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and Tuesday they called for other fixes.

"Our first choice would obviously be to repeal the whole thing. We know that's not likely to happen with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president who believe that this was a great accomplishment," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

"But we're open to any epiphanies any of them may have and that want to go in a different direction."

Republicans control the House of Representatives, and have taken more than 40 votes aimed at either replacing or diluting the 2010 law. They have consistently called for repeal.

"It's time to delay this. It's time to fix this before it gets any worse," said House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio at a news conference.

Boehner and McConnell also stressed that the current controversy over the broken health exchange website, while worth criticizing, won't last.

"That's just the beginning," said McConnell, who then talked about the health care law is likely to cost jobs and lead to higher premiums--clearly the Republican message of the day.

"The bottom line is the problems with Obamacare run deeper than just the website. I mean, the failed website is the most visible problem with Obamacare right now, but it's not just the traffic," explained House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

Republicans have taken a political hit thanks to the 16 day government shutdown that ended earlier this month. They had pressed for changes in the health care law, and, as many in their own party predicted, got nowhere.

And so, Wednesday, they took the longer view. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said the controversy "is not just about glitches," while Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., called the website problem "just the tip of the iceberg."




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