Republicans vow to end 'Obamacare'
28 June 2012, 11:32
Sterling - US Republicans vowed to dismantle
President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reforms regardless of how
the Supreme Court rules on Thursday, with Mitt Romney pledging to
"repeal and replace" the law if he wins the White House.
court's nine justices have deliberated over the constitutionality of
the 2010 legislation, and whether they opt to strike down all, part or
none of it has been the talk of political and healthcare industry
circles for weeks.
"We're all waiting to see how the court will
decide," Romney told supporters at a Wednesday campaign rally in this
Washington suburb of Sterling, in the battleground state of Virginia.
already know it's bad policy and it's got to go. And so if the court
upholds it, if they say, 'look, it passes the Constitution', it still is
bad policy, and that'll mean, if I'm elected, we're going to repeal it
and replace it," he said to loud applause.
"If, on the other hand, the court strikes it down, they'll be doing some of my work for me."
all eyes turned to the high court, and growing numbers of Republicans
believing it might invalidate at least some of the law, Romney suggested
Obama and company were feeling the heat.
Constitutional, economic reasons
"My guess is, they're not sleeping real well at the White House tonight," he quipped.
on both sides of the aisle have been bracing for weeks for the
momentous decision, which could have major implications for November's
Obama claims the reform as his singular
domestic achievement, while Romney has made the repeal of what he
derisively calls "Obamacare" a top pledge on the campaign trail.
Republican lawmakers backed Romney's position, including House Speaker
John Boehner, who said bluntly that "if the court does not strike down
the entire law, the House will move to repeal what's left of it".
Jeb Hensarling insisted there were "profound constitutional reasons"
why the law should be struck down, and serious economic reasons for the
House to scrap it should it be allowed to stand.
"If the Supreme
Court doesn't see fit to deem it unconstitutional, House Republicans are
going to repeal it lock, stock and barrel," he said.
Facing a fine
McMorris-Rogers, a rising star within the Republican leadership and
Romney's pointwoman in Congress, struck a softer tone, saying that "no
matter how the court rules, Republicans are ready to move forward with a
different approach on healthcare reform".
She said her party was
helping forge "common-sense, step-by-step, bipartisan solutions to
healthcare, and we hope that the president and Democrats will work with
The Affordable Care Act insures an extra 32 million
Americans, prevents coverage from being refused on the basis of
patients' medical histories and allows children to remain on their
parents' health care plans until age 26.
At the heart of the law
lies the individual mandate that requires every US citizen from 2014 to
take out health insurance or be subject to a fine.
argue that Congress overstepped its constitutional prerogatives in
requiring individuals to buy insurance, while the Obama administration
contends that the move is vital and in line with existing trade and tax
Despite Republican claims that it will increase costs, the
non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says it would reduce the
ballooning US deficit a little over the first decade and substantially
more over the second.
Republican congressman Ben Quayle said he
hoped the court would invalidate the law in its entirety so there would
be "a clean slate" to go about reforming healthcare and implementing
some Republican plans such as helping small businesses band together to
"If we actually make sure that we're allowing
people to buy insurance across state lines, making insurance attached to
the person rather than the job, allowing states to have pools with
pre-existing conditions... I think [that] will actually drive down costs
and increase access," Quayle told CNN.