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Health Care Repeal Vote Scheduled for January 12, with Vote on the Rule Friday

So the first major legislation the House Republican majority will embark upon is up at the Rules Committee site. On January 12, they will vote on a largely symbolic full repeal of the health care law. The two-page bill is available right here. They went with the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” I guess we’re done with innovative acronyms. There’s an additional resolution to instruct to committees to replace the law, based on a bunch of one-line bromides (“foster economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-killing policies and regulations”).

I know I mentioned this before, but the adoption of the new House rules, which will be done through the same “deeming” that Republicans decried during the health care debate, provide a safety valve for repealing health care, which does not actually comply with their rules:

The Congressional Budget Office said last year that the health care reform law and its accompanying reconciliation law would reduce the deficit by $143 billion through 2019. That figure is widely disputed and Republicans argue the law would actually increase the deficit. Still, since Republicans’ new rules to govern the House require that nearly all proposed legislation is fully paid for, the new House leaders have exempted repeal of the health care overhaul from such requirements […]

“No one believes that the job-killing healthcare law will lower costs, because it won’t,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for incoming House Speaker John Boehner. “That’s why we’ve pledged to repeal it, and replace it with common-sense reforms that will actually work.”

The repeal vote is scheduled for Jan. 12. While the proposal is likely to easily get through the House, Democrats have promised to block it in the Senate.

I didn’t know that was an available tactic for Congress, to simply not believe in CBO scores. Would have made the past couple years a lot easier. Chris Van Hollen called it “Enron-type accounting” from the Republican majority.

As for how many Democratic crossover votes they will get, it looks like Dan Boren will go for it. He’s one of just 12 returning Democratic members of Congress who voted against the health care law the first time around. Two of them, Dan Lipinski and Collin Peterson, said they would vote against a full repeal, while holding out the possibility of support for repealing certain elements.

Two Demcratic “no” votes – Reps. Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Daniel Lipinski (Ill.) – told The Hill on Monday that they would vote against repealing the entire law.

“Mr. Peterson will vote to repeal parts of the bill but not all of it because he views that as a political vote,” a Peterson spokeswoman said in an e-mail Monday.

The House will vote on the rule for repeal on Friday. Democrats slammed the approach in a mid-morning press conference. “Every minute wasted on a fruitless effort at repealing health care is one less minute spent on job creation,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a new member of the House Democratic leadership.

Should be a productive two years.

UPDATE: Forgot to add Pelosi’s statement:

“As we begin the 112th Congress, the number one priority of House Democrats will continue to be putting Americans to work. Each new proposal will be measured by a simple test: does it create jobs? Does it strengthen America’s middle class? And does it reduce the deficit? When our Republican colleagues put forward solutions to the problems facing Americans that meet these tests, they will find in Democrats a willing partner.

“Instead of joining Democrats in our efforts for job creation, Republicans are planning to put insurance companies back in charge by repealing patient’s rights.

“House Democrats will fight to ensure that children with pre-existing conditions continue to get coverage; that young people can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26; that pregnant women and breast cancer survivors can no longer be thrown off the rolls; and that seniors do not pay higher drug prices.”

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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