The Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House offered sharply divergent projections Sunday on President Barack Obama's health care law, which was deemed constitutional Thursday by the Supreme Court and which faces a repeal vote on Capitol Hill in just over a week.
House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican and proponent of the law's repeal, said the court's ruling was "shocking," but maintained it did carry an upside for the GOP.
"All it really does is strengthen my resolve and resolve of Republicans here in Washington to repeal this awful law, which is increasing the cost of health insurance for the American people and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers," Boehner said on CBS.
The House vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, slated for July 11, will send the signal to the American people that Republicans are "resolved to get rid of this," Boehner said.
"This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. They do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy, and how much they have to pay for it, and if you don't like it we're going to tax you. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over," Boehner said.
Meanwhile, the Democratic leader in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said Sunday the attempt to repeal of Obama's health law was "unrealistic," saying taking such action amounted to Republicans catering to special interests.
"It's being the mouthpiece of the health insurance industry," Pelosi said on NBC. "And we're saying, 'Let's not have them be in charge anymore. Let the people be in charge of how they receive coverage and health care.'"
Republicans first sought a repeal vote of the president's health law in the 111th Congress, soon after the measure passed. Democrats, who then controlled the House and Senate, didn't allow repeal attempts to be considered.
When Republicans took control of the House after the 2010 midterm elections, a repeal measure was voted on by the full body, passing 245-189. It was added as an amendment to an unrelated bill in the Senate, where it was voted down.
Other attempts have been made in Congress to defund the health care law, though none has yet been successful in passing the Democrat-controlled Senate.
On Sunday, Pelosi said attempts to repeal or defund the law represented de facto repeal of the beneficial aspects of the measure.
"They'll bring it up, and when they bring it up they will ask for repeal, repeal of all the things I said that help children, help young adults, help seniors, help men or women who may have prostate cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is, any precondition," Pelosi said.
"So that's what they want to repeal, we're happy to have that debate," she added.
Boehner argued Republicans were willing to maintain certain provisions in the health law, though he said each would need to be enacted separately.
"Republicans believe in a common sense, step-by-step approach to replacing this law," the House speaker said. "And all of those provisions, popular provisions, many of them very sound provisions, can in fact be done in a common sense way. But not in 2,700 pages that no one read."