Rep. Schweikert: Repeal Vote ‘Puts a Marker Down’

By Eliza

Jan 19, 2011 3:58pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Republicans are pushing forward with their efforts to repeal the Democratic  health care law even though they know the effort is highly unlikely to take the law off the books, as they seek to deliver on a campaign promise – and set up a further assault on elements of the law.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Dave Schweikert, R-Ariz., a freshman Republican who is staunchly opposed to the health care law, said the vote today “starts the discussion” about what should change in President Obama’s law.

“It also puts everyone — puts a marker down saying, ‘Here’s where we are in the House, now next week we begin the process,” Schweikert told us.

Schweikert said that, unlike some of his colleagues, he is accepting health coverage as subsidized by the federal government for members of Congress. But he said he chose an option with a high deductible and a robust Health Savings Account, to demonstrate that he feels strongly about the best way to deliver health care to Americans.

“I am actually a big fan of the HSA models,” Schweikert said. “So I’m going to do something of that nature where it’s a huge deductible because, you know, if you preach that you like HSAs, Health Savings Accounts, you probably should use one.”

On the subject of the Tucson shootings, while the Democratic member of Congress he beat in November, former Rep. Harry Mitchell, has said he stopped holding town hall meetings because of threats in his district, Schweikert said he takes the opposite message from his constituents.

“The thing I learned is, when you have folks who are upset, talk to them, they may not agree with you, but darn it they are going to respect you for reaching out and being willing to listen,” he said. “And much of the frustration I saw happen in Arizona with my Democrat opponent is he shut down, he stopped communicating. Which actually may have benefitted me — our obligation is actually to listen.”

Watch the “Top Line” segment with Dave Schweikert HERE:

Also today, we celebrated Jonathan Karl’s birthday (check out his singing talents) and checked in with Reid Wilson of National Journal’s The Hotline, on the recent retirements of Democratic senators, plus newly installed RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

Watch that portion of the program HERE:

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