Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Architect of Health Care Law Admits Republicans Could Repeal It

One of the main architects of President Obama's health care reform cautioned that Republicans could be successful in tearing it down if they won both chambers of Congress and the White House this fall.

"I think they could do it," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., on CSPAN's Newsmakers on Sunday.

"I think the American people have to understand that. If they vote for Romney and they vote for the Republicans to have control of the House and the Senate, there's a good chance the health care bill will be wiped out, and all of these benefits will be wiped out," he added.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has said that the House will vote to overturn the law on July 11, a largely symbolic move as such a measure would never pass the Democratic-led Senate. Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is also running on a repeal platform.

Waxman's comments come in contrast to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a separate interview aired on Meet the Press on Sunday. She asserted that Republican attempts to repeal the law are "unrealistic."

"I think that that part of it is over," she said.

Though Waxman disagreed on the capacity of Republicans to repeal the law, he agreed with Pelosi on the idea that Democrats and Republicans alike should move past the fight over the law's validity, saying that Congress should be doing something to improve the economy, rather than "carping" about health care.

"When this bill is fully in effect in 2014, the American people are going to be very, very happy and they're gonna ask, what was the brouhaha all about?" he said.

He did, however, admit that Republicans had thus far won the messaging battle on health care, and that they were successful again in shifting the conversation in their favor with respect to packaging the penalty imposed upon those who don't buy health care as a tax. But he said that he wasn't sure how to change that dynamic, preferring instead to focus on crafting sound policy.

"Well, I'm going to elect some of the public relations experts to figure this out. That's not my strength," he said.

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