Republicans, poised to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in two days, scheduled a Jan. 12 vote on repeal of the 2010 law overhauling the nation’s health-care system.
Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the incoming House majority leader, set the vote for a week after the new Congress convenes in Washington, his deputy chief of staff, John Murray, said in an e-mail. The health-care overhaul passed last March was the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda.
Republicans, who gained 63 seats in the November election to win control of the House, campaigned on a promise to repeal the law that would extend medical-insurance coverage to 32 million Americans. Senate Democrats, who will still control the Senate in the new Congress, vowed to block any repeal legislation.
The law “is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Murray said. The law has “failed to lower costs as the president promised that it would and does not allow people to keep the care they currently have if they like it,” he said.
Top Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, warned incoming House Speaker John Boehner in a letter today that such a repeal would have “unintended consequences” for “a number of popular consumer protections that help middle-class Americans.”
“We will block it in the Senate,” said the letter, also signed by Democratic senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Charles Schumer of New York, Patty Murray of Washington and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
House Republicans plan to start debate on the repeal measure Jan. 7, Murray said.
--Editors: Andrew Pollack, Laurie Asseo.
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