Barrasso says GOP committed to repeal of ‘unworkable’ health law

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R) promised voters GOP lawmakers would fight to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare reform legislation, calling it “unworkable, unaffordable, and very unpopular.”

“There should be no doubt: Republicans in Congress will fight to repeal the President's failed healthcare law,” said Barrasso in the GOP weekly address. “It is a law that is bad for patients, it is bad for the nurses and the doctors who care for those patients, and it's terrible for taxpayers.”

On Thursday, in a landmark 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld much of the healthcare law as constitutional, dealing a blow to Republicans who have pushed to undo the reforms. 

House Republicans though have vowed to hold a vote on July 11 to repeal the law, but the measure is unlikely to garner support in the Democratic-held Senate. 

GOP lawmakers though have pressed forward with fresh attacks on the legislation, blasting the individual mandate provision as a “tax” and saying the health law will add more burdens to a still struggling economic recovery. 

“I was in the courtroom as the Supreme Court ruled that the President’s healthcare law is what the President claimed it was not: a new tax,” Barrasso said. “The President's healthcare law hires more IRS agents to investigate you and to make sure you buy insurance—but it fails to deal with the shortage of nurses and doctors to actually take care of you.

“In the middle of a tough economy, President Obama passed a healthcare law that has made our economy even worse,” he added. “By forcing expensive new healthcare mandates through Congress, he's made it harder for Americans to find good jobs and provide for their families.

“With unemployment at over 8 percent for over 40 straight months, we cannot afford for this tax to stay in place any longer,” Barrasso said.

The House GOP already voted to repeal the healthcare law as one of its first measures in 2011, but their move to again take up such action highlights the extent to which leadership believes the healthcare reforms remain unpopular in the run up to November’s elections.

Barrasso said GOP lawmakers intended to replace the law with a “step-by-step approach” he said would be focused on cutting healthcare costs.

“That means commonsense solutions, like allowing premium breaks to encourage healthy behavior,” he said.

“It means letting consumers buy insurance across state lines, and letting small businesses pool together to offer affordable health insurance to their workers. It means finally ending the lawsuit abuse that leads doctors to practice defensive medicine by ordering expensive and unnecessary tests.

“Now that the Supreme Court has acted, the American people cannot afford for Congress to wait any longer,” said Barrasso in the address. “It is time for Washington to repeal the President's healthcare law and replace it with real healthcare reform.”