GOP Sees Risks in Push to Repeal Health Law

AP/FoxNews.com
3/31/2010

WASHINGTON — Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that’s roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s new health care law.

It’s fine to criticize the health law and the way Democrats pushed it through Congress without a single GOP vote, these party leaders say. But focusing on its outright repeal carries two big risks.

Repeal is politically and legally unlikely, and grass-roots activists may feel disillusioned by a failed crusade. More important, say strategists from both parties, a fiercely repeal-the-bill stance might prove far less popular in a general election than in a conservative-dominated GOP primary, especially in states such as Illinois and California.

Democrats are counting on that scenario. They say more Americans will learn of the new law’s benefits over time and anger over its messy legislative pedigree will fade. For months, Democrats have eagerly catalogued Republican congressional candidates who pledge to repeal the health care law, vowing to make them pay in November.

Republican leaders are stepping cautiously, wary of angering staunchly conservative voters bent on repealing the new law. In recent public comments, they have quietly played down the notion of repealing the law while emphasizing claims that it will hurt jobs, the economy and the deficit.

The article continues at FoxNews.com

Sen. Alexander: If not repeal, at least ‘big changes’ to healthcare law are expected
By Michael O’Brien
The Hill
04/01/10

Republicans expect at least “big changes” to the new health reform law as a result of their efforts, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Thursday.

Alexander, the third-ranking Republican member of the Senate, predicted that Republicans would be able to force major changes to the new healthcare system amidst pledges by many GOP candidates that they would seek to repeal the plan in its entirety…

…Healthcare is expected to be a central issue in this fall’s campaign, and many Republicans have pledged to run on a pledge of repealing in whole the healthcare bill to have passed through Congress, which was signed into law by the president.

But already, some Republicans have tempered their rhetoric on repeal, including Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), as well as Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois.

Those more measured pledges reflect the difficulty facing Republicans in their plans, even if they were to pick up the number of seats predicted in the most generous estimates of this fall’s elections. Democrats would still be able to throw up procedural roadblocks in Congress, and Obama could veto any legislation to repeal his signature domestic policy.

At least one Republican, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), did though suggest that the GOP is examining its options to sidestep a presidential veto in order to repeal healthcare law.

Read the complete article at The Hill

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