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House GOP files health care repeal bill

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WASHINGTON D.C. -- Republicans in Washington will waste no time in tackling their number one priority -- repealing health care reform.

Lawmakers have just returned to Washington and will be sworn in Wednesday. Republicans in the House of Representatives already have a bill to repeal the new federal health care law.

The bill, which was hastily filed Monday night, is only two pages. It hasn't been assigned a number. Officially it's called the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act."

Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., said, "I don't want the American people to have to pick up the tab for my healthcare."

GOP leaders not only came to the 112th Congress armed with a bill, they also plan to vote on it one week from Wednesday.

Patrick Gavin of the publication "Politico" said, "The reality is come November 2012 they're going to want to have something on their resume to boast about."

But Democrats -- even in the House where Republicans now hold power -- aren't backing down. Some are vowing to make the GOP repeal the law provision-by-provision.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said, "Who's running this government? Is it the insurance companies or is it the United States Congress?"

Democrats say there are bigger problems to address right now than health care.

Rep. Karen Bass, D- Calif., said, "The economy has to be the number one issue on our agenda."

Even GOP strategists acknowledge House Republicans are taking a risk with this fight. They say it could leave an unfavorable impression if the Republicans appear to be constantly bickering with the president.

It is possible the House could pass the repeal bill whenever the vote happens. But it's unlikely the measure will get through the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Senate Democratic leaders served notice that they'll block any repeal, arguing it would kill popular provisions such as improved prescription coverage for Medicare. Also, Obama could veto the bill and Republicans aren't anywhere close to the two-thirds majorities they would need to override.

House Republicans say if their effort to repeal the law fails, they'll chip away at it a piece at a time.


Story written with contributions from Andrew Adams and The Associated Press.

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