KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Boehner Backpedals After Calling Obamacare ‘Law Of The Land’

House Speaker John Boehner reaffirmed his desire to repeal the health law Thursday, after earlier referring to it as the "law of the land."

Los Angeles Times: Boehner: Obamacare Is Law Of The Land, Ryan Not The GOP Leader
In a wide-ranging interview, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said raising tax rates is "unacceptable," vice presidential nominee Paul D. Ryan is not the new leader of the GOP and the reelection of President Obama means the nation’s new health care law is "the law of the land." ... Boehner also suggested House Republicans would not entertain repeated votes to repeal the nation’s new health care law, as happened this past session of Congress. "The election changes that," Boehner said. "Obamacare is the law of the land." The speaker later tweeted that "our goal has been, and will remain, full repeal" of the health care law. Boehner's spokesman provided a transcript of the exchange in which the speaker also said, "There certainly may be parts of it that we believe -- need to be changed. We may do that. No decisions at this point" (Mascaro, 11/8).

National Journal: Boehner Backing Off Obamacare Repeal
After more than three dozen attempts to repeal all or part of President Obama's signature health care reform law, House Speaker John Boehner sounds like he'll be backing off the issue next year. Asked by ABC News if he still plans on repealing the law next year, Boehner said "the election changes that" and that "Obamacare is the law of the land." The Alley asked Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith if that meant there'd be no more repeal votes and Smith responded: While ObamaCare is the law of the land, it is costing us jobs and threatening our health care. Speaker Boehner and House Republicans remain committed to repealing the law, and he said in the interview it would be on the table. Of course, with a Democratic Senate and Obama in the White House, it hardly makes sense to continue to spend much time on an errand as quixotic as repealing Obamacare (Frates, 11/8).

The Hill: Boehner: 'ObamaCare Is The Law Of The Land'
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) quickly reaffirmed his commitment to abolishing President Obama’s healthcare reform law after suggesting in an interview that repeal was no longer a priority for the House. "ObamaCare is law of the land, but it is raising costs & threatening jobs. Our goal has been, and will remain, full repeal," Boehner tweeted Thursday. The tweet was sent shortly after the release of an interview with ABC News in which Boehner indicated he has no firm plans to push for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a law the GOP-led House has voted to abolish, dismantle or defund more than 30 times (Viebeck, 11/8).

Politico Pro: Boehner: 'Obamacare Is The Law Of The Land'
House Speaker John Boehner made it official Thursday: Obamacare isn’t going anywhere. In an interview with ABC News, Boehner seemed to suggest the election ended any efforts to wipe out the whole law. When "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer asked if there would be any more votes to repeal the law, Boehner said "the election changes that" and "Obamacare is the law of the land." … In a way, Boehner was just acknowledging the obvious: With President Barack Obama back in the White House for another four years, and the Senate still firmly in Democratic hands, a full repeal of the health care law is out of the question. Targeted repeal of unpopular parts of the law -- or efforts to scale back some parts -- might be a different story (Nather, 11/8).

Still, the health law is a target for some Republicans.

CQ HealthBeat: Cantor Targets Medicare Cost-Containment Board, Hopes To Enlist Senate Democrats In Effort
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has set his sights on repealing the health care overhaul’s Medicare cost-cutting board in the 113th Congress, and says he can get Democrats to join him. In a Nov. 7 letter to GOP colleagues, Cantor includes repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board on a short list of legislative priorities he says he believes can reach the president’s desk, with the support of Senate Democrats. Seven House Democrats joined Republicans in passing a bill to repeal the board earlier this year. But some Democrats who support repealing the board did not vote for the final bill after Republicans added language to restrict medical malpractice lawsuits. Cantor, R-Va., said if Republicans "successfully make the case publicly," Senate Democrats might sign on to a repeal measure as well (Ethridge, 11/8).

CQ HealthBeat: Health Care Law, Entitlements On House Panels' Agendas
Even with Republicans maintaining their majority, retirements and party term limits could lead to as many as a dozen full committee chairmanship and ranking member changes in the 113th Congress. And that doesn't include Republican and Democratic vacancies at the top of almost 30 subcommittees. Negotiating new party ratios on committees shouldn't be a big problem, given the slight Democratic gain in overall seats. Here's a look at the likely work plans for the two House committees with the most jurisdiction over health matters. Committee Republicans approved countless measures in the current Congress signaling their displeasure with the Obama administration’s energy and environment policies and health care overhaul. They’re expected to pick up where they left off in the next Congress (11/8).

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