Republicans will repeal healthcare reform legislation if they win control of Congress because of that bill, a key Republican pledged late Sunday.
The health bill is "dead on arrival" in Congress, said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce committee, said during an interview on Fox News.
"If they somehow manage to get the votes and get enough Democrats to walk the plank and commit suicide, in the next Congress, I'll be chairman Joe Barton of the Energy and Commerce committee, and we'll repeal it," Barton said.
Republicans have shown optimism at picking up seats in the House and Senate in the 2010 midterm elections, largely as a byproduct of the contentious healthcare debate that has played out across the country.
Barton, whose committee is one of the three key House committees to craft healthcare legislation, suggested the current bill is basically not viable in its current form.
"Take the current bill and just tweak the public option and call it a 'deal' -- you put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of the potential changes that could be made to win lawmakers' votes. "I think this bill's dead on arrival."
President Obama has three options on healthcare, Barton said: Starting over, abandoning the bill, or muscling the bill through in a party-lines vote.
The third option, the Texas Republican said, would only hurt Democrats.
"If he chooses option three, muscle it through, he's committing his party, in my opinion, to the political wilderness," Barton argued.