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House repeals health-care reform – with no plan to replace it (+video)

House Republicans campaigned to repeal and replace health-care reform, but are now holding off until after November elections before laying out their own alternative plan.

By Staff writer / July 11, 2012

House majority leader Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia walks from the House floor as he manages the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he sponsored, on July 11.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Washington

House Republicans didn’t just uphold the first half of their “repeal and replace” mantra for President Obama’s signature health-care reform legislation Wednesday. They voted to repeal the measure amid a hail of rhetorical fire and brimstone, hollering one of their chief November rallying cries before a 244-to-185 vote with but five Democrats joining a united Republican front. 

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The Republican-led U.S. House votes to repeal President Obama's health care law, but the effort is doomed to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

“Our forefathers rejected tyranny – and so should we,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) of Georgia, an OB/GYN physician, on the House floor Tuesday.

So Republicans have proved they’ll cast out the president’s health-care law when given the opportunity – the vote marked the second full repeal by the House and the 31st time the House has voted to defund, roll back, or otherwise hack away at some part of the 2010 health-care reform.

But “repeal” is only half the rallying cry. How will the Republicans “replace” what they deride as “Obamacare”?

“You talk about repeal and replace? We haven’t heard a word about replace,” said Rep. Sander Levin (D) of Michigan at a House Rules Committee hearing on Monday. “None.”

For Republicans, that’s about half the point.

As they battle toward the November elections, congressional Republicans aren’t going to lay out a specific, unified proposal for replacing Obama’s health-care legislation. Instead, they will allow individual members to run on the ideas they think are best. Then, with the election in the rearview mirror, conservatives expect that they’ll be able either to repeal or to reopen discussion of the health-care law because of its impact on the nation’s finances.

And that’s when they’ll really get back into the fray with specific proposals.
 
For now, however, the GOP playbook works like this. First, cite your principles.
 
“What we’ve said is we believe in the principles that Americans hold dear as it relates to health care,” said Rep. Tom Price (R) of Georgia at a health-care discussion on Tuesday sponsored by Republican groups Crossroads GPS and American Action Network. Those principles are “affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, and choices."

Second, whack your Democratic adversaries for "Obamacare," arguing that a bad legislative process led to terrible, economy-stalling legislation.

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