GOP Rep. Price: Republicans Will Vote to Repeal Health Bill ‘Absolutely, Without a Doubt’

By Jonathan Blakely

Mar 22, 2010 2:36pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: President Obama hasn’t even signed into law the health care bill passed by the House last night, but already Republican efforts to roll it back have launched. On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Tom Price, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said that the message from GOP members seeking to win back the majority is simple: They would vote to repeal the Democrats’ health care bill.
“Absolutely — without a doubt,” said Price, an orthopedic surgeon. “We’re starting off right away. We in fact started it yesterday. Sen. [Jim] DeMint had a bill up right away, or a petition up right away to repeal it. We’ve got — for folks that are interested in going and finding an opportunity to be able to vent their frustration and their anger about a government in Washington who will not listen to them about what they believe they want in health care.” Regarding GOP messaging this fall, Price said: “I think what the message will be repeal this bill and reform or replace it with the kinds of things that are positive, that are patient-centered, that put patients and families and their doctors in charge of health care that actually address the insurance challenges we have, affordability and preexisting with fundamental solutions that respect patients, not that trust government.” Beyond the mathematical challenge of a repeal — such a move could be vetoed by the president, and Republicans have no realistic shot of holding a veto-proof majority in the House and Senate in the foreseeable future — Price acknowledged some unease over overturning all of the policies contained in the bill. Asked if he’d be comfortable with cutting off insurance for a 25-year-old who would get new coverage under the Democrats’ bill, Price said: “Out of the 4,600 pages in the bill that was passed yesterday you found the two pages that might actually do something good,” he said. “You’re absolutely right — it’s one of the items that we have been pushing for. … The problem is, is that the vast majority of the bill, the $500 billion in taxes, the slashes to Medicare, the intrusion of the federal government into the decision making process for health care all of those things — along with the sleazy backroom deals that were done for Nebraska and Florida and Louisiana — all of those are in the bill that was passed on the floor of the House last night that the presidents going to sign.” Price said he has concerns about whether big portions of the bill would pass constitutional muster: “I think there are a number of provisions in it that are questionably constitutional. I believe personally that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.” Asked about whether he’s concerned that any of the rhetoric of the debate has gotten overheated, Price said: “I think what we’re having is the sense that the American people have right now that their government in Washington isn’t listening to them. … I agree with them. From their perspective, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi isn’t listening, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid isn’t listening, it appears the administration isn’t listening, and so what do you ask? What else can you ask them to do other than to say, ‘can you hear us now’? You’ve got to be listening to the American people. We are about to have a government that no longer has the consent of the governed. That’s a very dangerous place to be.”

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