Sunday, January 21, 2018

Republicans, Democrats wrangle over health care law

WASHINGTON — Republican congressional leaders said Sunday that voters — not the Supreme Court — will have the final word on President Barack Obama's health care law come November. And they are betting that the law's unpopularity will be enough to drive Democrats from power.

The White House's response? Bring it on.

"We've got one last chance here to beat Obamacare, and we can do that in the November election," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling the law the "single worst piece of legislation" passed in modern times.

White House chief of staff Jack Lew countered that he believes most Americans want to put the health care debate to rest.

"I actually think the American people want us to focus on the economy, on creating jobs and moving forward," Lew said.

Republicans and Democrats made the rounds on Sunday talk shows to continue their wrangling for the upper hand in the health care debate since last week's Supreme Court ruling upholding the law's mandate that individuals buy health insurance or face a penalty. Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, provided the pivotal vote in ruling that the penalty was legal under the government's taxing authority.

The House is scheduled to vote to overturn the law on July 9. The vote will largely be symbolic since the Democrats control the Senate. But it will put lawmakers on record for the upcoming political campaign.

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