Reid on health care repeal effort: Republicans need to ‘get a new lease on life’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear Thursday that as long as he’s in charge, no effort to repeal the health care law will see the light of day beyond the House, but Senate Democrats said they are open to changing parts of the law over the next year.

“The Republicans have to understand that the health care bill is not going to be repealed,” Reid said. “Are we saying the health care bill is perfect? Of course not. We’re willing to work in any way that’s constructive in nature to improve the health care delivery system in our country, but repealing health care, they should get a new lease on life and talk about something else.”

The new class of House Republicans, many who campaigned on a promise that they would scrap the law forever, are planning a vote on repeal next week.

The move is largely seen as symbolic. But don’t tell that to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

The newly minted speaker bristled Thursday morning when asked if his party’s plans to repeal the law in the House were an exercise in futility, knowing that it would never make it past the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“Don’t you think it’s a waste of time?” a reporter asked Boehner.

“No, I do not!” he replied, his baritone voice noticeably a few notches higher than before. “I believe it’s our responsibility to do what we say we’re going to do.”

Introducing bills that everyone knows will fail is nothing new for Congress. In last year’s lame-duck session alone, Reid introduced a flurry of bills to the Senate floor with full knowledge that the vote taken that day would not make it past a Republican filibuster. Boehner’s call for repeal, which he said “is the will of the people,” is merely par for the course in Washington.

That doesn’t mean the health care law in its entirety is here to stay.

“[Republicans] shouldn’t expect the Senate to go along with this kind of wholesale repeal,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said. “A majority in the Senate still believes in health care reform. We also believe that the only perfect law ever enacted was carried down the mountain by Senator Moses. Every other effort has needed some visitation, reconsideration, and this will too.”

The Senate in November rejected two separate proposals that would have changed the health care law’s requirement that requires all businesses to file a 1099 tax form when transactions totaling more than $600 are made over the course of a year. Reid, Durbin, and one of the bill’s lead sponsors, Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, have signaled a willingness to pursue another reform of the measure.

Beyond changing the 1099 requirement, neither Durbin or Reid mention other specific measures within the law they would be open to altering.

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  • qofdisks

    The HCR will now have to be modified bit by bit. Unfortunately, the complexity will only increase for the average person. We need single payer with NO paperwork required of anyone. Bills should be processed through the single payer system and never be seen by a citizen.

    • IMcasualcat

      blasphemy I say … Bad enough they already run Medicare Medicaid and Social Security .. what makes you think they could handle another system as large and complex as this?

  • RinoHunter

    Harry look out there’s a bee’s nest behind you. Your power is diminishing day by day. Have you heard they’re going to change the rules on filibuster? No more 60 votes to stop a filibuster, only 51. Better get out your bee sting kit.

  • IMcasualcat

    Absolutely … repeal the whole mess.
    This way anyone with a pre existing ailment can do without insurance. Makes it cheaper for the rest of us.
    Then lets get those pesky kids off our insurance at 18 again. Please. Maybe mine will finally move out.
    And please please keep those nasty cheaper Canadian Drugs out of our country. We absolutely must support our Pharmaceutical industry here at home.

  • kbull

    One of Murphy’s laws.
    Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about. (think Harry Reid)

    Don’t remember where I saw the name “Wrong Way” attached to somebody’s name. It was a description of a person that tripped all over his decisions in life. He was a really nice guy, wanted good things to happen, but for some reason he just made poor decisions. Like wanting something to happen SO MUCH that he blanks out part of the equation so the desired objective survived. (think Harry Reid)

    Ignorance and arrogance have subtle differences… an ignorant person usually has no clue, (think Harry Reid)… whereas an arrogant person has no clue with an alarming degree of confidence (think Obama)

  • sunnyr

    We started our New Lease Life this past November. If you thought that was a “shellacking” just wait until 2012, Dirty Harry. Prepare to be in the MINORITY for the next couple of decades while we hire Conservative Presidents who will bring this country back to life, reduce the size of goverment, force a Balanced Budget every year, pay down the deficit and create millions of jobs by reducing corporate and business taxes. Either get on board or get the hell out of the way! UNION THUGS SUCK and these parasites will be run out of business.