Exclusive To RWN: The GOP House Leadership Speaks Out On Defunding And Repealing Health Care Reform


The centerpiece of Barack’s Obama first two years in office has been the health care reform that the Democratic Party shoved through Congress over the objections of the Republican Party and the American people. Not only was the legislation unpopular when it was passed, polls have consistently shown that the American people want to see the legislation repealed. That’s doubly true for conservatives, who view health care reform as a disastrously expensive government program that will destroy the quality of health care in America.

With that in mind, one question has been asked over and over again: If Republicans get back in power, will they try to repeal health care reform? In order to answer that question, I contacted the Republican leadership in the House to see what they had to say about the issue.

Minority Leader John Boehner, Republican Whip Eric Cantor, Chairman of the House Republican Conference Mike Pence, and Vice-Chair of the House Republican Conference Cathy McMorris Rodgers all went on the record for this article.

Now, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that in order to fully repeal health care reform, the GOP will need to have 60 votes in the Senate, the presidency, and the House. While the GOP could conceivably take the House in November, they won’t be able to acquire the needed votes in the Senate or the presidency. Still, there is an effective tactic they can use: refusing to fund health care reform.

So, my first question was, “If the GOP retakes congress, would you support cutting off the funds needed to implement health care reform?”

Boehner, Cantor, and Pence all answered in the affirmative while McMorris Rodgers essentially punted on the question. Still, 3-out-of-4, including the top 3 members of leadership, isn’t bad.

We are going to fight to repeal this government takeover of health care and start over with solutions that focus first on lowering costs. Cutting off funding for ObamaCare is absolutely something I support. For example, I would support moving as soon as possible to deny any funding for the estimated 16,500 IRS employees that will be needed to implement ObamaCare. House Republicans will continue to stand with the American people against this unconstitutional government takeover of health care. — John Boehner

Yes, without question. Republicans will use every tool available to us to repeal the harmful law. Even in the minority, House Republicans have forced votes to immediately repeal some of the most egregious provisions of the law, including a vote to repeal the individual mandate. — Eric Cantor

Congress holds the power of the purse, and yes, I will support all efforts to cut off funding for ObamaCare. The Democrats’ government takeover of health care will kill jobs, infringe on individual liberty, and it fails to contain costs. — Mike Pence

If we are successful in repealing ObamaCare – and I’m going to work my heart out to repeal it – that would automatically – by definition – cut off the increased, out-of-control spending in the Obama-Pelosi health care bill. As House Republicans constantly told President Obama and Speaker Pelosi “We need to start over.” Once we’re back at Square One – the way things were before ObamaCare – we can begin a better process focused on smaller reforms that can gain bipartisan support -medical liability reform, enabling small businesses to pool together to purchase health insurance, allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines, etc. — Cathy McMorris Rodgers

While that’s the most practical step Republicans will be able to take if they recapture the House, it’s not the key question most conservatives want to have answered. That would be question number two, “If the GOP retakes congress, are you willing to pledge that you’ll work to ‘repeal’ or ‘repeal and replace’ the health care reform that passed Congress?”

In this case, all four members of leadership were willing to come out unambiguously for the repeal of health care reform,

Absolutely. I’ve signed the discharge petition for Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) bill, and also cosponsored the Reform Americans Can Afford Act, introduced by Wally Herger (R-CA), which would repeal and replace ObamaCare and will be the subject of a similar discharge petition. The number one concern Americans have with our current health care system is rising costs, and ObamaCare will only exacerbate that problem. House Republicans want to repeal it so we can start over with a step-by-step approach focused on lower costs. — John Boehner

Yes, we are going to work to repeal it, because if the Democrats had listened to the American people it would have never been signed into law in the first place. Republicans have always advocated for proposals to improve the health care, so a Republican majority would offer solutions that will lower costs and empower doctors and patients. — Eric Cantor

I, and my fellow House Republicans, will not rest until this government-takeover of health care is repealed, lock, stock and barrel. Then, I will work to replace ObamaCare with a law that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government by allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines.

We can repeal and replace ObamaCare with real malpractice reform, ending the scourge of junk lawsuits and defensive medicine.
To those who say it would be too difficult to repeal and replace ObamaCare, I say it’s a two-step process: We repeal the Pelosi Congress in November, and we replace the Obama Administration in 2012. — Mike Pence

Ideally, we want to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a better version of health care reform that uses common-sense, market-based solutions to increase access and lower costs. Clearly, though, the most urgent task is repealing ObamaCare. And if there was an opportunity to repeal ObamaCare – even it didn’t include a smaller, better bill as a replacement – that would be something we would gladly enact. — Cathy McMorris Rodgers

So, there you have it. If the GOP takes over the House in November, not only can you expect them to work to repeal health care reform, but you can expect them to attempt to cut off the funds needed to implement it starting next year.

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