WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday that a focus of the new Republican Congress would be repealing the Affordable Care Act.
In the op-ed published online in the Journal on Wednesday evening, the Republican leaders wrote that repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law would be part of a GOP focus on jobs and the economy.
“Among other things, that means a renewed effort to debate and vote on the many bills that passed the Republican-led House in recent years with bipartisan support, but were never even brought to a vote by the Democratic Senate majority,” Boehner and McConnell wrote. "It also means renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans’ health care.”
The Republican-led House has voted dozens of times to repeal Obamacare, but the Democratic-led Senate ignored the measures. That may change in the next Congress as a result of Tuesday's election, which gave Republicans a Senate majority -- but not enough to overcome a Democratic filibuster or a presidential veto on a full repeal.
Obama suggested during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday that he was open to certain changes in the law, but repeal was off the table.
"On health care, there are certainly some lines I'm going to draw," Obama said. "Repeal of the law I won't sign. Efforts that would take away health care from the 10 million people who now have it and the millions more who are now eligible to get it, we're not going to support." He added that he wouldn't reconsider the law's individual mandate requiring that everyone have health insurance.
McConnell, the likely leader of the Senate in the next Congress, has said he favors repealing the law outright. But he has acknowledged that won't be feasible while Obama remains president. He has said Congress could chip away at the law by targeting certain provisions.