By Russell Berman - 06/07/12 04:09 PM EDT
If the Supreme Court strikes down only part of President Obama’s healthcare law, House Republicans will move to repeal the rest of it, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday.
But if the high court invalidates the entire law, how Republicans respond is anyone’s guess.
“We’ll have to wait and see what the Supreme Court does,” Boehner said at his weekly press conference. “I’m not going to speculate on what the Court will or won’t do.”
The court is expected to announce its highly awaited decision by the end of the month.
While a decision to throw out the law would be devastating to Obama and congressional Democratic leaders, Republicans would come under immediate political pressure to mitigate the fallout for Americans who are benefitting from the handful of provisions that have already taken effect. Most of the law will not be fully implemented until 2014, but Democrats are already warning about the need to keep people from suddenly losing their healthcare coverage because of the ruling.
Boehner indicated Republicans would not rush their response and repeat the kind of process they criticized the Democrats for using when they passed the law in 2010.
“What we won’t do is pass a 2,700 page bill in the middle of the night that no one has read. What we won’t do is tell the American people that we have to pass the bill before we know what’s in it,” Boehner said. “Republicans believe in a step-by-step, common sense approach to fixing the problems within our current healthcare system.”
The House has already passed a bill to repeal the entire law, but it failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Boehner said if the court strikes down only part of the law, such as the individual mandate and its connected provisions, then Republicans would redouble their efforts to scrap the rest of it.
On Tuesday, the head of the House Republican Policy Committee, Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), promised that the GOP would respond with a “smooth, rational transition.”