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House Republicans fulfill midterm promise of repealing Obama’s healthcare law

by Adam Russett on January 20, 2011

House Republicans together with three Democrats voted 245 to 189 to repeal Obama's healthcare law on Wednesday, fulfilling midterm campaign promises in what many consider a symbolic act that will be shot down in the Democratically controlled Senate.

"If we agree that this law needs improving, why keep it on the books? Let's challenge ourselves to do better," House speaker John Boehner said during the long debate preceding the vote, according to the Washington Post.

Republicans have largely been opposed to Obama's healthcare law from the beginning and believe that it stifles the creation and maintenance of jobs, CNN reports.

The Post reports that Republicans are determined to push for as much change as possible when it comes to healthcare, especially the mandate that all Americans buy health insurance. Many Republicans expect that the entire repeal process could last through to the 2012 elections.

"So if we are unsuccessful in seeing the Senate take up the repeal bill and the president signing a repeal bill of ObamaCare, we'll do everything we can to delay and defund the provisions of the bill so that we can get some discussion going on how we can replace it, and come together on the agreement that we can't accept the status quo," House majority leader Eric Cantor told CNN.

However, some Republicans are willing to support various aspects of the existing law, such as allowing those under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plans, as well as granting coverage to high-risk patients who would normally be denied by insurance companies.

Democrats have shown a willingness to consider compromises on various issues, such as removing business taxes, and those on both sides of the aisle have paid lip service to a bipartisan approach, but few have been able to come up with any concrete ideas that appeal to the left and right wings of Congress.

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