Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) warned House Republicans on Thursday that if the Supreme Court strikes down the Democrats’ health-care reform law next week, there should be no “spiking of the ball.”
Aware that an ostentatiously overjoyed reaction might look bad while Americans struggle to pay for health care in a struggling economy, Boehner outlined a messaging strategy for Republicans that would instead emphasize the rising costs of insurance and assert that President Obama’s health law has disrupted the economy and raised the costs of care.
“We will not celebrate at a time when millions of our fellow Americans remain out of work, the national debt has exceeded the size of our nation’s economy, health costs continue to rise, and small businesses are struggling to hire,” Boehner wrote in the memo, distributed to members as they left Washington for the weekend.
“ObamaCare has contributed to all of these problems. Repealing it completely is part of the solution ... but it is only one part,” he wrote.
The court is widely expected to rule Monday on the constitutionality of the health law’s requirement that most people buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine. In his letter, Boehner said Republicans would move quickly to repeal any part of the law allowed to stand by the court.
Then, he said, they will move to “enact common-sense, step-by-step reforms that protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.”
But he provided no details on what those efforts might entail and suggested that they would develop slowly.
“Republicans will not repeat the Democrats’ mistakes,” he wrote. “We won’t rush to pass a massive bill the American people don’t support.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to Boehner’s memo with her own missive touting the benefits she said Americans enjoy as a result of the health-care law.
“It is a sad day when Republicans continue to cheer against the health benefits Americans are already enjoying, while running out the clock on the economy and pursuing policies that are dangerous to a thriving middle class,” Pelosi said.