After November

| Tue Sep. 21, 2010 12:26 AM EDT

OK, so maybe Republicans can't repeal healthcare reform if they take over Congress in November. But they can try to nibble it to death:

For starters, Republicans say they will try to withhold money that federal officials need to administer and enforce the law. They know that even if they managed to pass a wholesale repeal, Mr. Obama would veto it.

....Republicans also intend to go after specific provisions. Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, a senior Republican on the Finance Committee, has introduced a bill that would eliminate a linchpin of the new law: a requirement for many employers to offer insurance to employees or pay a tax penalty. Many Republicans also want to repeal the law’s requirement for most Americans to obtain health insurance.

Alternatively, Republicans say, they will try to prevent aggressive enforcement of the requirements by limiting money available to the Internal Revenue Service, which would collect the tax penalties. Republicans say they will also try to scale back the expansion of Medicaid if states continue to object to the costs of adding millions of people to the rolls of the program for low-income people. In addition, Republican lawmakers may try to undo some cuts in Medicare, the program for older Americans.

This is what America has to look forward to if Republicans win 40 seats in the House in this year's midterms. Plus endless manufactured investigations of the Obama White House. I sure hope all those wobbly centrists and disappointed Obama supporters understand what they're letting themselves in for if they give up now.

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