Boehner calls health care repeal the GOP’s #1 priority

BOEHNER CALLS HEALTH CARE REPEAL THE GOP’S #1 PRIORITY…. Republican officials still haven’t quite figured out what they want to say about repealing the new Affordable Care Act — a surprising number of Republicans aren’t willing to commit to scrapping the entire law — but the party’s House leader nevertheless described the push as the GOP’s top legislative priority.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that repealing the healthcare legislation passed in Congress last month and signed into law by President Barack Obama would be the GOP’s top priority if it wins back control of Congress this fall.

“They got everything else in the entire bureaucracy that they need to control our healthcare system … with the signing of this bill,” Boehner said during an interview on WFLA’s “Bud Hedinger Show.” “That’s why repealing this bill has to be our No. 1 priority.”

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) called Boehner’s comments “stunning.”

“It is stunning that House Republicans will make their number one priority repealing benefits and rights for Americans, raising taxes, and turning our health care system back over to insurance companies. Not only does this legislation improve our health care system, it will also reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over 20 years, create millions of jobs, and provide small business owners with important tax credits. The House Republican leadership should start saying no to the special interests of the health insurance industry, and starting saying yes to American families by working with us to create jobs and get the economy back on track.”

Dems aren’t backing down at all on this front, and I’m glad. The party has long seen advantages in the GOP’s repeal push, and it’s a strategy Dems hope will pay dividends.

But Van Holllen’s response reminded me of a related point. The new Affordable Care Act really does offer lots of tax breaks to small businesses and individuals. I’m curious — if Republicans are vowing to repeal the ACA in its entirety, doesn’t that mean they’re promising to raise taxes? And for those GOP candidates who’ve signed that Norquist pledge, isn’t this likely to be problematic?