If you thought the Congressional battle over health care was over, think again. Congress convenes Wednesday and House Republicans plan an immediate attempt to repeal the health care law. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says with the G.O.P. only taking control of one Congressional chamber, the effort to kill so-called Obamacare faces an uncertain future.
“It surely will pass the House of Representatives or they wouldn’t be doing it,” Grassley says. “They feel an obligation as a result of the last election to do just that. Then, of course, it’s going to come to the Senate and we’re going to try to get it through the Senate, but obviously, if it’s going to take 60 votes to get done, we won’t get it done.”
Grassley says the numbers of supporters versus opponents aren’t set in stone as there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the health care law. “Since all Republicans voted against it when it first passed, Republicans would be pretty uniform against it now,” Grassley says. “What isn’t known is the extent to which Democrats that voted for it, knowing now that 60% of the people don’t like the bill, maybe it will get some Democrat votes it wouldn’t otherwise get.”
He notes that about a dozen Republicans in the Senate are up for re-election, but around 24 Democrats are facing re-election. Even if this attempt fails, Grassley says there will be more efforts to kill the health care law. Grassley says, “There will be other efforts to de-fund or not fund and have a great deal of oversight, at least in the House of Representatives, of implementation of the law, to point out flaws in it, what’s wrong with it, and maybe in defunding, delay the implementation of it.”
While critics of the health care law say it’s far too costly and is hurting the economy, supporters say it encompasses a host of valuable protections, especially for the middle class. House Republicans hope to vote on the repeal next week.