U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, predicted on Friday that the U.S. Senate will vote on a repeal of the health reform law passed last year, echoing an earlier pledge by the top Senate Republican.
If we have to, every bill that comes before the Senate will have repeal of health care as an amendment, Chambliss said in a published interview Friday. He said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-NV is going to have a hard time getting cloture without an up-or-down vote on health care repeal.
They may have the vote - he probably does. But there will be a vote, Chambliss said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a similar pledge on Wednesday, after the House of Representatives voted in favor of repeal.
The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn't want to vote on this bill. But I assure you, we will, McConnell said.
Repealing the law would prevent $770 billion in tax hikes and cut $540 billion in spending, while doing away with a requirement that individuals buy health insurance, House Speaker John Boehner R-OH said Friday in a published column.
Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower costs without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government, he said.
Reid, who has previously said that Republicans can't be serious about repealing the law, calling it an exercise in futility, on Friday remarked on what the nearly year-old bill had meant to his constituents so far.
He said expanded prescription medicine coverage in the health law meant nearly 21,000 Nevada seniors had already received a $250 tax-free rebate. Those now covered from a plugged up doughnut hole gap in coverage total 60,000 in the state and would save an average of $4,080 per year, he said.
Instead of trying to raise prescription drug costs on Nevada seniors, proponents of repeal should start working to create jobs and strengthen our economy, he said.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats on Friday defended the law against charges that they lacked the authority to pass it and that the individual mandate in the law is an illegal tax.
The law is not unconstitutional, Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-CA, and other lawmakers said in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in federal court on Friday related to an ongoing lawsuit involving the health law.
By filing this brief, Democratic leaders are taking a strong stand against any and all efforts to repeal patients' rights and put insurance companies back in charge of Americans' health choices, Pelosi said.