John Barrow says he won’t support health care repeal

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington sends this:

”U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta will not be among the Democratic defectors today when House Republicans vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act – the 33rd vote this Congress in the repeal treadmill.

Barrow, who faces tough redistricting fight in a redrawn 12th District, voted against the original law in 2010, but has not backed repeal efforts, arguing that it is better to work to improve the law.

Republicans had predicted that after the Supreme Court upheld the health insurance mandate as a tax they might win a few new converts to the full repeal chorus, but Barrow is sticking where he is.

“The reason it’s tough is because each side up here is making it tough,” Barrow said of the vote. “That’s what’s wrong with this place. Both sides have the same attitude and both sides are equally wrong, that this has to be an all or nothing proposition.”

Barrow ticked off the appealing parts and noted even GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says some of the popular pieces should remain. Barrow said he likes forcing insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions, preventing lifetime limits on coverage and allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

But ideally Barrow would dismantle several key pieces of the law, including the individual health insurance mandate, the mandate that businesses with 50 or more employees pay for health coverage and the Independent Payment Advisory Board tasked with curtailing Medicare costs that foes fear will lead to rationing of care.

Barrow’s proposed alternative to the web of subsidies and mandates would be for the federal government to open up its employee health insurance plan to the general public, as the government’s large-scale negotiating power can help keep costs down.

Barrow said Republicans have presented a bad binary choice and that he would continue supporting any bill “that gets rid of the bad and preserves what’s good. That’s what I’m for.”

Earlier this month, Barrow had angered many Democrats by joining Republicans and voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his refusal to provide documents for a House investigation of a botched scheme to catch gun-runners.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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34 comments Add your comment

td

July 11th, 2012
3:47 pm

Sounds like Barrow is trying to do a little spin. I can see the commercials now that Barrow supports Obamacare. I guess he is ready to become a lobbyist.

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
3:47 pm

Obamacare is not going to get repealed. That is just a Republican campaign slogan.

Obamacare is very likely to get modified, though. Even Democrats have buyers remorse now that the true costs to taxpayers and consumers are being understood after the legislation has finally been read and digested.

td

July 11th, 2012
3:53 pm

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
3:47 pm

I can see where you come to that conclusion because you do not think Romney can beat Obama. If Romney wins and the Republicans hold the majority in the HOR and the Senate then Obamacare will either be repealed or the Republican party will become as small as the Libertarian party.

Bernie

July 11th, 2012
3:58 pm

This vote was like the fireworks display that fizzled on on the Fourth in California…Great anticipation followed by a muted disappointment.

John

July 11th, 2012
3:58 pm

td: No it won’t, because Republicans (including Tea Partyers) would rather vote to shoot themselves in the groin than leave the Republican Party.

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
4:02 pm

@ td – Even if Romney were to win, and the Senate goes Republican (both unlikely) – Obamacare cannot be repealed without 60 votes in the Senate. It simply is not going to happen.

td

July 11th, 2012
4:07 pm

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
4:02 pm

It was passed under budget reconciliation and only needed 51 Senate votes It can be repealed the same way.

Cutty

July 11th, 2012
4:09 pm

If Medicare Part D is repealed too, then we can talk.

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

Filibusters take 60 votes to break. Any Senate attempt to repeal this socialized segment of our economy will get unanimous Democrat support in defense.

Bernie

July 11th, 2012
4:19 pm

The Republicans are wasting time while Rome burns………..We have seen this one before! at least 31 times!

td

July 11th, 2012
4:22 pm

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

You are not understanding my point. Budget bills initiated in the Senate and go to the house where amendments are made and come back to the Senate to reconcile the differences only require 51 votes. This is exactly how the Dems passed the final version of the current law. The Senate passed a minor budget bill and the House stripped all of it out and replaced it with “amendments” Obamacare and only required 51 voted to approve.

Look before I leap...

July 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

The vote to repeal is symbolic and won’t amount to anything – which seems the be all that Congress does lately.

Once the vote tallies are taken – the GOP is hoping to use this as ammunition in the upcoming election.

Quite frankly, I think the GOP is making a mistake here in having this vote. Vulnerable Democrats can safely vote with the GOP knowing the Senate will block any action and remove the issue from their upcoming campaigns. In addition, in going for full repeal as opposed to modification, they will be eliminating some very popular provisions contained within the Affordable Healthcare Act such as child coverage until age 26, removal of lifetime coverage caps, pre-existing condition exclusions, etc.

The issue is completely moot in the presidential election because every time the Romney camp says “Obamacare”, the Obama team will respond with “Romneycare”.

hiram

July 11th, 2012
4:27 pm

The blind leading the blind…

puntthemarxist

July 11th, 2012
4:27 pm

Punt the marxist & repeal obozocare!

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

Obamacare passed with 60 votes that cutoff any chance of a filibuster by Republicans when Arlen Specter switched parties.

Road Scholar

July 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

So td /others: What will Mitt do? It took this long…over 30 years to put the repub ideas into a bill…and to pass it. They want a repeal and then replace…what will the replacement resemble?
Why not just tweak the bill to toward the repub position/recommendations? A win-win. Or do they just want Pres Obama to fail first? At all costs? If so how long will it take to get a new bill after (if it is) repeaedl? Or will the repubs just say they are going to focus on jobs and never address the issues?

You have stated many times what “liberals/others” who disagree with you think/ will do; so what does your crystal ball say?

My healthcare premiums have gone up each year for the past 10+ years. My coverage changes each year to a lesser amount. Obamacare has not been implemented by the way.

Centrist

July 11th, 2012
4:55 pm

jgalloway – Your Morning Jolt after a late night being a debate moderator missed covering the first 10 minutes concerning the major TSPLOST differences. You also “forgot” those Beach answers about not phoning in his vote that would have stopped the GA 400 tolls, and suggesting suburbs pay 1/4% and lowering Fulton and Dekalb to the same for MARTA.

Does the Roger’s campaign have to get those things out to voters on their own, since the liberal media would rather not?

Road Scholar

July 11th, 2012
4:56 pm

Man I wish I could type better or improve my proofreading skills….”repealed”.

Bernie

July 11th, 2012
5:11 pm

Surely, Jesus would not approve of the continued denial of Healthcare for millions of his children, especially when the denial is coming from the RICHEST and WEALTHIEST NATION this Planet has ever seen.

President OBAMA will be blessed with a second TERM, despite the occurrence of such of such CRUEL and selfish acts!

WOW

July 11th, 2012
5:21 pm

TD:

The bill cannot be repealed by reconciliation as it was not passed that way. The vote was 60-39.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00396

hnbc

July 11th, 2012
5:23 pm

Why do the Republicans continue to waste so much time and energy voting to repeal the Affordable Health Care Law? It’s purely a symbolic vote this time as it has been the 30-plus times they’ve done it already.

Why don’t the work at doing something they might hope to accomplish (if that is other than trying to make Obama a one-term president)? The Republicans have stood and are standing in the way of the country moving forward!

honested

July 11th, 2012
5:28 pm

AT LAST!
Congressman Barrow does still have a little tiny measure of courage and is willing to allow it to see the light of day on occasion!

What a concept, a Congressman voting for what is best for the majority of his constituents.
Now if kingston could get a clue (and lose all that insurance company campaign cash).

markie mark

July 11th, 2012
5:41 pm

For those of you talking about the 60 votes needed in the Senate – now that this is been legally declared a tax by the Supreme Court, it cannot be filibustered. Senates rules prohibit filibustering tax bills, last I knew.

Look before I leap...

July 11th, 2012
5:51 pm

@markie mark
I believe the “tax” designation by SCOTUS applies to the penalty provision contained in the legislation and not the entire act.

I don’t know if Senate rules regarding filibusters and tax bills apply to any act that contains a tax provision or just the portions of the bill that pertain to the act.

Some here on this blog may have better insight into that.

td

July 11th, 2012
6:02 pm

The final version of the house bill (acceptance of the Senate bill with amendments) passed the Senate on Dec 24th, 2009 under reconciliation with less then 60 senate votes.

GaBlue

July 11th, 2012
6:07 pm

It’s time for a federal mandate that everyone residing in the United States MUST breathe air containing at least some minimum level of oxygen every day.

Oh, the problems that would be solved….

td

July 11th, 2012
6:11 pm

Jim,

Get you PC fired up. I am about to give you a heads up for a weeks worth of material in the next couple weeks.

Just finished a Hart foundation poll. After taking this Democratic poll I can most confidently announce that within the next couple weeks the Obama Campaign will be trying to attack Romney for wanting to do away with Medicare and Social Security to balance the budget and give tax cuts to the rich.

Look before I leap...

July 11th, 2012
6:21 pm

@td

You have your bills mixed up.

The senate confirmed HR 3590 on 12/24/09 by 60-39.

The Reconciliation Bill (HR 4872) which contained amendments was passed on 3/25/2010 56-43 in the Senate.

2 different bills with two different sets of repeal rules.

johnc

July 11th, 2012
6:29 pm

I’ll vote for the transportation tax as soon as the state keeps its promise and removes the tolls on GA 400.

Look before I leap...

July 11th, 2012
6:32 pm

@johnc
Technically, the thieving buzzards did keep their promise and the GA 400 toll lapsed for an entire day.
The current toll is a NEW toll with no expiration date.

It makes no difference what party is in power, once the government gets its hands on your money, they are pathologically incapable of letting go.

johnc

July 11th, 2012
6:32 pm

Didn’t mean to be off topic…my comment was regarding Centrist’s comment about TSPLOST.

yuzeyurbrane

July 11th, 2012
6:34 pm

td and Centrist–check with your lawyer friends and I think they will tell you that you are both right about number of votes needed to repeal Obamacare in Senate. As I understand it, parts of the law that pertain to taxes are subject to budget reconciliation rules; other parts are subject to 60 vote filibuster rules. Personally, I think you will both be disappointed and Obamacare will remain law.

Re Barrow, he is basically a coward so I am surprised he did not vote for repeal as he voted against the law in the first place even though it will help many many of his constituents. Sometimes you have to stand for something and maybe he has toughened his spine this time? Or maybe he has just figured that he will get more votes through the stance he is taking?

Truth-O-Meter

July 11th, 2012
9:45 pm

As I said before, Barrow voted against ACA and Republicans repaid him by drawing him out of his district. The moral of this story is that you vote your constituency’s interest; that’s what Republicans do. Democrats will never learn!

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