Barrasso: GOP Will Target Health Care Law in Wake of Court Ruling

Posted June 17, 2012 at 9:49am

If the Supreme Court strikes down part of the health care law, Congressional Republicans will try to repeal the rest of the statute and to pass a more limited alternative, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said today.

Barrasso and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union With Candy Crowley” today to discuss each party’s game plan in the event that the Supreme Court later this month overturns President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy accomplishment.

Van Hollen repeatedly asserted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was the Democrats’ plan and that Republicans have done nothing but promise to repeal any remaining provisions and leave nothing in its place if the law is invalidated.

“The reality is, this was our plan. The irony is Republicans were for this plan before they were against it. That’s why it was modeled after Mitt Romney,” Van Hollen said, referring to a plan that the presumed GOP presidential nominee put in place when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon, said he was confident the court would toss the law out, adding that repealing any remaining provisions would be Republicans’ first course of action. The high court is weighing constitutional challenges to many aspects of the law, including a requirement that most Americans buy health insurance and a planned expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program.

“I believe this is unconstitutional,” Barrasso told Crowley. “I believe there is going to be a stinging rebuke of this legislation. If not, Republicans want to repeal everything that is left standing.”

Barrasso was less clear about what his party might craft to take the law’s place.

“You are not going to see from Republicans a 2,700-page bill,” he said. “You’re not going to see a law so voluminous that it cannot be read; so incoherent that it cannot be understood.”

Though he declined to provide specifics, Barrasso said the GOP legislation will “deal with junk lawsuits” and will likely be “part of the campaign debates.”

The Supreme Court is expected to rule sometime this month.