Senate GOP leaders advance efforts to force health law repeal vote

Politico: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republicans Tuesday that he plans to force a vote on repealing the health care reform law this week. The plan is to tack the amendment onto the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill this afternoon, a Republican aide told POLITICO. McConnell told Republicans of the plan in their weekly policy lunch" (Haberkorn, 2/1).

The Washington Post: "The announcement came one day after a federal judge in Florida ruled that Congress had overstepped its authority by mandating insurance for nearly all Americans. The push for a vote on repealing the health care law has picked up broad support among Senate Republicans, although it's unlikely that full repeal would garner the number of votes necessary to pass the Senate. South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint announced on Monday afternoon that his bill calling for the full repeal of the health care overhaul had won the support of all 47 Senate Republicans; earlier Monday, some GOP senators had yet to sign onto the bill" (Sonmez/2/1).

The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has agreed to allow Republicans a vote on the healthcare repeal amendment because they did not filibuster the motion to proceed to the FAA bill. Democrats will raise a budget point-of-order objection to McConnell's amendment because it would add $230 billion to the federal deficit, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office. Republicans have discounted the CBO estimate as inaccurate, arguing it' based on "budget gimmickry" (Bolton, 2/1).

MSNBC: "While it's unlikely that the GOP will gain the Democratic support needed to garner enough votes for the measure to pass (and Obama could veto the measure even if it did), a repeal vote would force Democrats who are up for re-election in 2012 to go on the record in support of legislation which may not be popular in their home states" (Strickland and O'Donnell, 2/1).

Meanwhile, in a spearate story, Politico reports: "Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow states to "opt out" of the law's requirement that individuals have to buy insurance, that large companies have to provide insurance and that states need to expand their Medicaid program" (Haberkorn, 2/1).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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