House GOP begins long drive to dismantle Obamacare, by Byron York 01/20/11 8:05 PM, Chief Political Correspondent
Everyone knows House Republicans (along with three Democrats) voted Wednesday to repeal Obamacare. But fewer people know what those same House Republicans -- this time, with 14 Democrats -- did Thursday.
By a vote of 253 to 175, the GOP directed key House committees to report on ways to lower health care premiums, allow patients to keep their current health plans, increase access to coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and decrease the price of medical liability lawsuits. In other words, the committees are beginning work on replacing the House-repealed Obamacare with Republican health policies.
Repeal got a lot of press coverage. Replacement got far less. If they needed any reminding, GOP lawmakers are learning that controlling the levers of power in the House doesn't mean controlling the media narrative on health care. "Democrats wanted to characterize repeal as draconian, ignoring the fact that we do have very, very positive alternatives," says Rep. David Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee. "It's been difficult for us to get that [message] out there. We said repeal and replace, and we're in the process of replacing."
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