House GOP plans early vote to repeal healthcare reform

House Republicans hope to make good on a campaign promise to undo the healthcare reform law by scheduling an early vote to repeal it before President Obama's State of the Union address in late January, the Washington Post reports.

The repeal will be a top priority for the House, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the incoming chair of the House committee that oversees health policy, said.

If the new House fails to reach a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto, Upton said that GOP leaders will "go after the bill piece by piece." He continued, "We will look at these individual pieces to see if we can't have the thing crumble."

Such a repeal vote would be largely symbolic, the New York Times reports.

The prospects of a repeal bill making it through the Senate, where Democrats cling to a narrow majority, is much less likely.

Democrats are preparing for a fight to defend the reform, noting that consumers already are benefiting from changes made under reform. They argue that undoing the law would increase the number of uninsured; put insurers back in control of health insurance, allowing them to increase premiums at will; and lead the federal budget deficit to grow quicker.

"[Republicans are] talking about wasting time repealing healthcare, when they know that the Senate and administration won't go along with it. Don't waste time," Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

To learn more:
- read the USA Today article
- read the Washington Post story
- here's the New York Times story