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The Telegram - Congress Will Try to Repeal Health Care Law

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Location: Washington, DC

By Mary Clarkin

Congress will attempt to repeal the national health care act with a vote July 11 in the House of Representatives, said U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp.

"We've had 30 votes to repeal or defund," Huelskamp noted, so the vote July 11 will be the 31st vote.

The freshman Republican congressman blasted the Supreme Court ruling Thursday that upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Although the Supreme Court ruled that the law "could" stand, this does not mean the law "should" stand, Huelskamp said.

In a press release and a subsequent conference call with the Kansas press, Huelskamp declared that "Obamacare" is bad for the economy, deters small business from growing, raids Medicare, represents a federal power grab, and undermines personal freedom and religious liberty.

He and the other members of Kansas' all-Republican delegation in Washington pledged to continue the fight to repeal the law.

The health care law debate won't be limited to the presidential campaign or congressional battles.

The Kansas chapter for the conservative Americans for Prosperity issued a statement Thursday that the fight over health care isn't over.

The state Senate thwarted efforts to put a Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment on the ballot in November, reminded Americans for Prosperity. Conservatives in the House approved it, but maneuvers in the Senate blocked it.

Americans for Prosperity promised to educate Kansans about which senators helped to keep the amendment off the ballot.

In this region, Sens. Steve Morris, R-Hugoton; Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick; Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg; Ruth Teichman, R-Stafford; and Allen Schmidt, D-Hays, cast ballots making them vulnerable to attack from critics of the national health care act. Those senators are all facing opponents this election year from candidates with more conservative positions.

Maybe Republicans think health care will be a better campaign issue for them than the Brownback administration's record, which is "miserable," said Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Joan Wagnon.

But Wagnon thinks some parts of the Affordable Care Act in effect -- allowing adult children on their parents' insurance; closing the "doughnut hole" or coverage gap for certain seniors; or removing hurdles for people with pre-existing medical conditions -- have proven popular with the public.

The Brownback administration returned a $31 million federal grant to create a health insurance exchange and now that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld, "they've really put themselves in a box," Wagnon added.


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