Bloomberg News

Boehner Says Obama's Health-Care Law Needs Full Repeal

July 01, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul in full, even as he described some conditions in the law as “sound.”

The Supreme Court upheld the core of Democrat Obama’s law by a 5-4 majority on June 28. By declaring that Congress had the power to make Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty, the justices gave Obama an election-year victory while insuring that Republicans push the 2010 law to the front of the campaign.

“While the Court upheld it as constitutional, they certainly didn’t say that it was a good law,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” program in an interview. “It has to be ripped out and we need to start over. One step at a time,” he said.

The law, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and dubbed “Obamacare” by Republicans, represents the biggest change to the U.S. health system since Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also vowed to work to repeal it and Boehner today predicted it will be an issue in this year’s elections.

Republicans, who control the House, said they would hold a vote to repeal the act on July 11, though there’s no chance they can succeed as long as Democrats control the Senate and the president is there to veto a bill.

Boehner said he supported letting people under 26 stay on their parents’ insurance when out of a job, one of the measures included in the law. He said many of the provisions can be replaced.

Spending Adjustments

“All of those provisions, popular provisions, many of them very sound provisions, can in fact be done in a common sense way,” he said. “But not in 2,700 pages that no one read.”

The nation’s spending programs will need to be adjusted to reduce the federal debt, Boehner said. How it will be done is “going to be the subject of a great debate as we get into this election cycle and as we get into the post-election cycle,” he said.

A poll released on the day of the decision shows the country is evenly divided over the wisdom of the court’s judgment.

The USAToday/Gallup poll showed 46 percent agreed with the court’s ruling and 46 percent disagreed, with independent voters splitting 45 percent in favor and 42 percent against the decision.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sandrine Rastello in Washington at srastello@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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