Republicans Rethink Strategy for Obamacare Repeal

Monday, 26 Nov 2012 11:22 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Republicans are trying to figure out the best ways to attack President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law, as the opportunities for fighting in court rapidly dwindle.

The party, led by House Speaker John Boehner, seems to have given up on the idea of full repeal of Obamacare. But they see other ways to combat it. In an opinion piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer last week, Boehner said portions of the law could be gutted through House pressure on the Executive branch. And he argued that governors can fight the set-up of insurance exchanges in their states.

House and Senate Republicans tell Politico that they hope to repeal various elements of the law, with the support of moderate Democrats.

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Republican Conference, sees several elements of Obamacare that Democrats may agree need to be reworked. These are a tax on medical devices; the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is charged with finding Medicare savings; and the individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance.

In the House, Republicans already are hard at work trying to put their stamp on the law. The Oversight and Government Reform and the Ways and Means committees have sent subpoenas to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in recent weeks demanding information that committee leaders say she’s refusing to give.

Given the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold nearly all of Obamacare in June, opponents are going to have a tough time in court now.

“It’s going to become increasingly difficult because courts are much less willing to overturn something that’s already entrenched,” Randy Barnett, the Georgetown University law professor who helped construct the Supreme Court argument against the law earlier this year, told Politico.

There are still some court challenges, but the more the law gets put into effect, the harder it is to fight.

“There’s no question that one of the reasons why we had as much room to run as we did is we had a two-year delay in implementing most of the law,” Barnett said. “That opening is closing.”

But Obamacare opponents aren’t giving up, seeing opportunities with more narrow suits. The best known one comes from the state of Oklahoma, which maintains that insurance can be subsidized only through state-run exchanges, not the federally-backed ones that Obamacare establishes.

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

Meanwhile, Paul Howard, director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, and Stephen Parente, director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, write on Real Clear Politics that Obamacare faces plenty of obstacles.

“Delaying implementation [of Obamacare] until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due,” the duo says. “The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come.”

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