House GOP prepared to repeal Obama's health care law

January 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
House of Representatives' Republicans are moving to repeal the Obama health care law, as a vote is scheduled for next Wednesday. However, Republicans know they're going to pass the measure to repeal and then it will die because Democrats still control the Senate.

Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner, R-Ohio, is talking up repeal of the health care law.

"We believe it will bankrupt our nation. We believe it needs to be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health insurance," he said.

On the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, is promising the repeal will be defeated.

"We will work to insure that children with pre-existing conditions can continue to get coverage. Young people can stay on their parents plan until age 26," she said.

Pelosi listed provisions of the health care plan that most people like. The latest ABC News-Washington Post poll shows support for the law is at 42 percent, an all-time low, and about two-thirds of those asked said they would repeal all or part of it.

Dr. Laurie Green is an OB/GYN in San Francisco. She points out most people have healthcare coverage, about 85 percent of the population, and she says their worried about stretching coverage to the other 15 percent because it might cut into what they're getting.

"They're afraid that somehow their coverage will be cut, and I think most Americans have this underlying understanding that cost has to be addressed and that health care reform in fact hasn't addressed the serious issue of how we cover everyone for all the needs that people have, especially the aging baby boomers," she said.

So Republicans will vote for repeal and when that fails they plan to cut funding for the law. But that takes time, many months, and ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain says time is on the side of the Democrats because the features of the law that roll out first are generally benefits that people like.

"The extension of Medicare, the extension of Medicaid, allowing parents to carry children after they graduate for college up to age 26, that as they implement these features, people will come to see the benefit of it and will not want to have those benefits taken away," he said.

California's new insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, says he will enforce regulations requiring insurers to spend 80 cents of every health insurance dollar on medical care rather than administration -- another part of the law likely to court favor in the battle for public opinion.