Speaker-designate Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Republicans will move to repeal the new healthcare law “quickly enough” after they regain House control in January.
Surrounded by the newly elected GOP leadership team for the 112th Congress, Boehner would not speculate on when exactly the bill to undo the president’s signature healthcare overhaul will come up for a vote.
“We think that Obamacare ruined the best healthcare in the country, we believe it will bankrupt our nation, we believe it needs to be repealed and replaced with commonsense reforms to bring down the cost of health insurance and you’ll see us move quickly enough,” Boehner told a roomful of reporters, photographers and videographers attending his first press conference as the GOP’s officially favored choice for Speaker.
Republicans were swept into the majority in part over voter discontent with incumbent overreach in Washington, exacerbated after the Democratic Congress passed the White House’s massive healthcare overhaul law earlier this year.
More than 80 GOP now-representatives-elect ran on a pledge to “repeal and replace” the historic law they have dubbed “Obamacare.”
It was among the top items that drove the energetic class of Tea Party-endorsed challengers into office this year.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Democrats seized on a report in Politico that GOP Rep.-elect Andy Harris had requested he be allowed to be covered early by the health insurance provided for members of Congress.
Under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), newly hired federal employees must wait 28 days after their first day of work before the benefits kick in.
Citing reporting that Harris demanded that it start immediately for members of Congress, 47 House Democrats called Republicans hypocrites and demanded that they give up the health insurance provided to all federal employees.
“It is amazing that your members would complain about not having health care coverage for a few weeks, even after campaigning to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which will help provide coverage to millions of Americans who find themselves without health insurance for months or even years,” the Democrats wrote to Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
For his part, Boehner said he had no knowledge of Harris’s complaint.