Omaha Public Radio News
9:24 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Republicans may get small changes, not repeal

Washington, D.C. – With the help of Nebraska and Iowa Republicans, the House approved a repeal of the new health care law on Wednesday. But since it's expected to die in the Senate, repeal supporters may have to settle for small changes in the bill.

"This is not the end of the repeal of Obamacare, but it is the beginning of the repeal of Obamacare," said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

House Republicans have already begun their piecemeal approach to strip away parts of the law. Some provisions may be vulnerable, but others not so much. For example, the federal insurance mandate is a frequent target of critics, but it's likely to remain in effect.

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said some of the work will be done in his own committee, House Energy and Commerce.

"Starting very soon in our committee we will begin an open process not the one that was used where a bill was written in the Speaker's office and then driven to the House floor with no amendments allowed. We will do this right," Terry said.

There may be bipartisan support for medical liability reforms and a measure backed by Reps. Terry and King that would eliminate the requirement for business owners who purchase more than $600 in goods or services to submit a 1099 tax form to the IRS.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) plans to introduce a similar resolution in the Senate later this month.