Congressional Republicans said on Sunday they plan a full-scale assault against President Barack Obama‘s healthcare overhaul next year but acknowledged it could take until after the 2012 presidential election to repeal it. Representative Paul Ryan, expected to become chairman of the House Budget Committee said his fellow Republicans will try to deny funding for implementation of the healthcare legislation and hold hearings to point out its shortcomings when the new Congress convenes in January. “This bill is such a fiscal and economic train wreck for our country and for the health care system itself,” Ryan said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re going to do everything we can to try and repeal and replace this thing. And ultimately, I think 2013 is when it will be done the right way,” he added.
The healthcare law is a signature achievement for Obama’s first term in office and he would most certainly veto any legislation that attempts to repeal it. The landmark measure aims to extend health coverage to 33 million uninsured people and make it easier for individuals and small businesses to buy medical coverage. But critics say it creates too big a role for government in healthcare while failing to reduce soaring costs. The bill enacted in March requires most Americans to obtain health insurance and provides federal subsidies to help middle- and low-income families afford it. It also includes penalties for large companies that do not provide insurance and have employees obtaining federally subsidized coverage. Republicans campaigned against the bill as well as Democrats’ handling of the weak economy. They won a sizable majority in the House and took six Senate seats from the Democratic majority. Democrats defended the health legislation arguing it puts an end to insurance companies discriminating against pre-existing conditions and charging higher premiums for women. Most of the bill’s provisions will not go into effect until 2014, including the coverage mandate and state-run insurance exchanges that will provide one-stop shopping for coverage. “Most aspects of this new Obamacare are not implemented for two more years so it’s very realistic to think we can slow the implementation of it or delay it and then replace it in 2012,” Republican Senator James DeMint told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”