Republicans are making clear that repealing and replacing President Obama’s unpopular health care reform bill will be among their top priorities after the November election. Minority Leader John Boehner, who would likely become Speaker of the House if the GOP takes control, said that “I am committed to doing everything that I can do . . . to prevent ‘Obamacare’ from being implemented…Now, when I say everything, I mean everything.” Prospects for a complete repeal of Obamacare are not good right now, since any measure is unlikely to survive a filibuster or a veto by President Obama. Instead, the GOP will focus on slowing down and disrupting the implementation of the bill, most of which takes place in 2014.
Rep. Dave Camp said that “”If we can do it in one fell swoop, great. But if it needs to be a multi-step process, that’s how we’ll do it.”Among the steps they will take are oversight hearings to shore up public dissatisfaction with the bill. If public anger at the bill remains strong, there could be a large enough majority in 2012 to successfully repeal the bill. With control of the budget, House Republicans could deny the additional $5-$10 billion needed for administrative costs for the IRS and HHS. Language may also be inserted into appropriations bills preventing the use of federal dollars on Obamacare provisions.
Democrats are pushing back against GOP’s plan to stop their “greatest achievement.” They predict that Congress may end up in a stand-off with the administration that could lead to a federal government shutdown. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that she would continue to implement Obamacare even on a reduced budget. However, there still needs to be a massive amount of bureaucracy set up to accommodate the provisions of Obamacare, and without funding, it seems unlikely that these structures will be set up in time to fully implement the plans by 2014.