The House voted Wednesday to to repeal parts of the law , marking nearly 40 such attempts to eliminate, scale back or defund Obamacare since 2011. “The picture that the president paints of his health care law looks nothing like the reality facing struggling American families,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a press release after Obama’s speech Thursday. “House Republicans will continue our efforts to fully repeal the presidents health care law in its entirety once and for all.” In his speech, Obama acknowledged political opposition to the law was affecting his administration’s ability to carry it out and criticized House Republicans for “re-fighting these old battles.” But it’s resistance to Obamacare at the state level that is having a more tangible impact on the law’s reach. Just 16 states and the District of Columbia elected to manage their own health insurance exchanges, leaving the federal government responsible for the remainder, and as many as half of states won’t expand Medicaid to more poor people under the law. “In states that are working hard to make sure that this law delivers for their people, what we’re seeing is that consumers are getting a hint of how much money that’s going to be saved because of this law,” Obama said, citing California , New York, Oregon and Washington state, where health insurance premiums for next year beat estimates. “It’s hard, it’s a big country, and the health care industry is massive,” he said. “As we implement, there are going to be glitches and there are going to be certain states that, for political reasons, are resisting implementation. And we’re just steadily working through all that stuff.” This story has been updated with additional information on health insurance premiums, quotes from President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and background information.
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Obama talks up health care rebates, lower premiums
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday the free money sounds great but won’t remove the sting of new health care taxes that will begin costing consumers next year. “Jacking up our constituents’ health care costs is bad enough, but to try to then convince them the opposite is happening – that they’ve actually won some Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes, well, it’s just as absurd as it sounds,” the Kentucky senator said on the floor of the Senate. President Barack Obama stands with families who benefitted from the health care law provision that p Obama dismissed the Republican criticism and the efforts in the House to roll back the law, saying he’s willing to consider Republican ideas but that he hasn’t heard any. “What I’ve heard is the same old song and dance,” he said. “We’re just going to blow through that stuff and just keep on doing the right thing for the American people.” Republicans say the law is unworkable and must be repealed, arguing it will hurt the economy and force employers to cut much-needed jobs. They say proof that the law is unworkable lies in the administration’s recent, unexpected decision to delay for one year, until after the 2014 elections, a requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide them with health care coverage or pay a penalty.
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