Boehner: Keeping any parts of Obama health law ‘unacceptable’

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated Thursday that he wants to repeal all of President Obama’s healthcare law if the Supreme Court doesn’t toss out the entire statute.

“We voted to fully repeal the president’s healthcare law as one of our first acts as a new House majority, and our plan remains to repeal the law in its entirety,” Boehner said to reporters. “Anything short of that is unacceptable.”

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Republicans are focusing more intently on their healthcare strategy as the high court’s ruling approaches. The court is expected to rule next month on whether the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and, if so, whether the rest of the law should fall along with it.

If the court upholds the entire law or only throws out the mandate, Republicans will have to decide how to handle its politically popular provisions, including the policy that bars insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Conservatives are lobbying their colleagues to avoid the temptation of leaving popular elements in place. Boehner made clear on Thursday that he’s committed to full repeal.


Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) also urged Republicans to abandon even the most popular elements of the healthcare law as they prepare for the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I'm a little concerned that there might be some people in the House that would repeal what they might call the most egregious aspects of ObamaCare, [but] leave some of those aspects that seem to have some support,” King said on C-SPAN Thursday morning. “My position is very strong — I will fight that. I want all of it pulled out by the roots.”

A measure to repeal the entire healthcare law was the first bill Republicans brought to the floor after taking a majority in the House.

Conservatives have also been pushing the party to steer clear of a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. They believe a single, unified proposal would expose Republicans to charges of hypocrisy, given their consistent attacks on the length and scope of Obama’s healthcare law.

King endorsed the piecemeal approach.

“I agree with what I've heard come from leadership, it's something I've been arguing also for two and a half years, that Republicans shouldn't go into a formerly smoke-filled room and put together a great big healthcare policy to replace ObamaCare when and if that time should come,” he said.

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