GOP Marks One-Year Anniversary of Attempt To Repeal Reform Law
Debate over the federal health reform law continues on the one-year anniversary of House Republicans' unsuccessful attempt to repeal it, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
To mark the occasion, the GOP commended itself for dismantling smaller reform provisions over the past year (Baker/Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/19). They noted the repeal of two provisions, one involving the 1099 tax-reporting requirement that small businesses opposed and the other involving a "glitch" that made certain middle-income early retirees eligible for Medicaid.
House Republicans also praised the suspension of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act by the Obama administration, although they still are working to repeal the program outright.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged to continue pushing for a full repeal of the reform law, calling it a barrier to job creation (Baker , "Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/19).
Sebelius Warns of Forthcoming GOP Attacks
Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday rallied health reform advocates to defend the law, saying the GOP likely will launch more attacks on the overhaul in the coming year (Quinton, National Journal, 1/19).
Speaking at a conference sponsored by advocacy group Families USA, she said, "Over the next few months we'll see the biggest barrage of attacks and misinformation about the law we've ever seen. ... The law's opponents are definitely going to take their best shot" (Baker , "Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/19).
Romney Misconstrues CBO's Repeal Estimates
In related news, GOP presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney repeatedly has said repealing the health reform law would save federal funds, but his claim now is being questioned, Politico reports.
Romney has campaigned on repealing the overhaul, claiming that doing so would save $95 billion annually by 2016. However, the Congressional Budget Office report that Romney cites takes other factors into account besides the reduction of federal spending outlays. It also considers revenues that would be lost if the law is repealed, such as higher Medicare taxes and fees on health insurers and drugmakers and device companies.
CBO found that repealing the law ultimately would add $210 billion to the federal deficit over a decade (Haberkorn, Politico, 1/19).
Tea Party Calls for Immediate Repeal
While preparing for the upcoming Republican primary, members of a tea party chapter in South Carolina are calling on the potential GOP president to repeal the health reform law, Healthcare Finance News reports.
Karen Martin, head of the Spartanburg County, S.C., tea party chapter, said that "it would be a sin if" the health reform law "wasn't pushed through on day one and repealed" (Sullivan, Healthcare Finance News, 1/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.