Republicans split on how to handle Obamacare after president’s re-election

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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House Republicans are publicly infighting about what to do about Obamacare in the wake of President Barack Obama’s re-election last week.

House Speaker John Boehner has now backed off his promises to repeal the president’s health care reform law – at least until a Republican is elected president.

“Well, I think the election changes that,” Boehner told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer when asked if he would still pursue repealing the law.

“It’s pretty clear that the president was reelected, Obamacare is the law of the land. I think there are parts of the healthcare law that are going to be very difficult to implement and very expensive.”

On Fox News this weekend, however, Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price, who chairs the House Republican policy committee, said he didn’t agree with Boehner’s assessment.

“I can tell you, as a physician, we’re not opposed to the president’s health care law because of this election, we’re opposed because it’s bad policy ,and it’s bad for patients all across this land,” said Price.

When asked if the more conservative Republican Study Committee, chaired by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, thinks the fight against Obamacare should continue, spokesman Brian Straessle told The Daily Caller that “the answer to your question is yes.”

“There is still a lot we can and should do,” Straessle said. “More and more workers are going to see their take-home pay fall and their hours cut back because of this law. People will be forced to pay more for less access to care because of this law. Conservatives have no intention of just sitting around and watching that happen.”

Boehner has already taken criticism from more conservative members of the House for backing down on immigration and taxes after Obama was re-elected.

For instance, Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming hammered the Speaker publicly last week for some of the things he said in that interview with Sawyer. However, Fleming appears to mostly support Boehner’s position on Obamacare.

“I don’t see anything happening to Obamacare but implementation,” Fleming said in a phone interview with TheDC. “All of that is out of our hands now. HHS [Health and Human Services] and CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] have full control of that. And, despite the fact that there will probably be a number of bills that we try to pass, that we maybe get a vote on or possibly get through the House, I don’t see Harry Reid or the president doing anything on that. So, we’ll have to have a whole new administration with a Republican president before we can reform it or again repeal it.”

Conservative House Republicans are planning to get their message synced more closely together in the coming days – especially on Obamacare. On Wednesday, some conservative members plan to meet with press to discuss their agenda post-election. It’s expected a major issue that will come up is what to do about Obamacare.

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Matthew Boyle