Republicans will stand by plan to keep popular provisions in health care law

In addition to a Republican effort to repeal the Democrats’ health care law, the party will also move to impose provisions that restrict insurance companies from discriminating against patients with pre-existing conditions and allow young people to stay on their parents’ insurance up to the age of 26, said Majority Leader-designate Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia.

“What I think you will see us do is push for repeal of the health care bill and at the same time contemporaneously submit our replacement bill,” Cantor told students during a townhall event at American University in Washington, D.C. Monday night.

“We too don’t want to accept any insurance company’s denial of someone and coverage for that person because he or she might have a pre-existing condition,” he said. “Likewise we want to make sure that someone of your age has the ability to access affordable care if it’s under your parent’s plan or elsewhere.”

Republicans have used the “repeal and replace” rallying cry since President Obama signed the bill into law in March. They introduced their own version of health care reform, which was widely seen as a symbolic gesture at the time. The new Republican control of the House, however, will give the party more leverage to vote on legislation to defund portions of the law and offer replacement bills next year.

Joining Cantor at the event was Majority Whip-designate Kevin McCarthy of California and presumed Budget Committee Chair-to-be Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who spoke out against the provision in the health care law that forces everyone to buy insurance.

While full repeal appears unlikely, polls indicate that a plan to replace certain parts of the health care law could resonate with voters. A McClatchy-Marist survey released Monday found that 68 percent of Americans were in favor of keeping the provision to allow young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plan and nearly 60 percent favored government restrictions on insurance companies that deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Sixty-five percent, however, said they wanted to eliminate the mandate to buy coverage and only 16 percent wanted to keep the law in its current form.

Email Chris Moody and follow him on Twitter