“Senate leaders from both political parties have agreed to hold a vote on legislation repealing President Obama’s health care overhaul — a top priority of GOP congressional leaders.
“The vote probably will come either Tuesday or Wednesday…
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said he wanted to get the repeal effort ‘out of the system’ so the Senate could move ahead with other business. While all 47 Senate Republicans are expected to back a full repeal, the plan will not receive enough votes to clear the measure…
“The push for an outright repeal is one of several strategies the GOP leadership is using to undermine support for the law. Senate Republicans also introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow states to opt out of key provisions of the new health care law.”
“Senators John Barasso, R-WY, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, have introduced The State Health Care Choice Act, written to allow states to opt out of the individual mandate, the employer mandate, expansion of Medicaid programs and “new federal requirements for regulating health insurance.” The senators, introducing the legislation at a presser, were admirably blunt…
“‘We’re opening up a third front in the challenges against Obama health care,’ said Graham. If the bill passed, ‘it would be easier for me to imagine more than half the states opting out of Obamacare. The bill would fall.’ Graham got a follow-up question, asking whether opting out would shrink the risk pool. ‘You’ve hit the point. The goal is repeal and replace.’ The goal was to bring the debate over health care into the 2012 campaign and into ‘the streets.'”
“Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) stopped short of guaranteeing that he would deliver all the members in his party but said he felt ‘very good’ his 53-vote caucus would stick together to defeat repeal.
“‘These Republicans are duty-bound to offer this repeal amendment,’ Durbin told reporters. ‘They did it in the House; they’re going to do it in the Senate; and we’ll just deal with it.’…
“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he won’t support the Republican repeal bill.
“‘I’ve always been in the mode to repair it,’ he told POLITICO on Tuesday.
“Montana Sen. Jon Tester, another moderate Democrat who has to face voters in 2012, is not expected to support repeal, either.”