Boehner: Repealing healthcare law Republicans' 'No. 1 priority' in 2010

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that repealing the healthcare legislation passed in Congress last month and signed into law by President Barack Obama would be the GOP's top priority if it wins back control of Congress this fall.

"They got everything else in the entire bureaucracy that they need to control our healthcare system ... with the signing of this bill," Boehner said during an interview on WFLA's "Bud Hedinger Show." "That’s why repealing this bill has to be our No. 1 priority."

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Republicans have talked up a strategy of "repeal and replace" in the weeks since health reform became law, promising to act to repeal swaths of the new law, and replace them with reforms for which the GOP had pushed throughout the healthcare debate.

Members of the House GOP have faced some internal rifts over the extent to which they would repeal the bill if they took control of Congress in the fall. 

For instance, some centrist Republican candidates for higher office, like Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Mike Castle (R-Del.), who are running for Senate in their respective states, have faced some pressure for having to walk a political tightrope between calling for a full or partial repeal of the new law.

Boehner's remarks would indicate that an agenda of repealing healthcare would top Republicans' agenda in this fall's midterm elections, when the GOP hopes to make inroads into Democrats' majority, if not win back control of the House.

The top House Republican said that voters' ire over the healthcare debate has fueled his party's traction in the polls going into the elections.

"I’ve never seen a bill pass the House of Representatives that the American people knew about, that the American people had discussed, debated, and had decided ‘no,'" Boehner said. "This is why the anger that’s out there, frustration that’s out there, and frankly, I think, a lot of this is now turning to resolve — resolving that the American people are going to do something about this."

Update, 3:46 p.m.: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) shot back at Boehner on Monday afternoon:


“It is stunning that House Republicans will make their number one priority repealing benefits and rights for Americans, raising taxes, and turning our health care system back over to insurance companies.  Not only does this legislation improve our health care system, it will also reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over 20 years, create millions of jobs, and provide small business owners with important tax credits.  The House Republican leadership should start saying no to the special interests of the health insurance industry, and starting saying yes to American families by working with us to create jobs and get the economy back on track.”