GOP Leaders: Voters Will Decide on Obamacare
In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on healthcare, Republican congressional leaders say voters will now have the final say on the president's controversial law.
On Sunday's talk shows, GOP leaders said the focus now is on November.
"It will be a big issue in the fall," Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. "The chief justice basically said this is up to the American people to decide. We've got one last chance here to defeat Obamacare. We can do that in the November election."
"I'm very disappointed," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. "But we're not deterred. We think we can still repeal this law if we win this election."
Republicans like Ryan are also calling attention to the court's analysis of the law as a tax.
"Look at the hypocrisy," Ryan said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "The president, on your show, said this is not a tax. Then he sent the solicitor general to the Supreme Court to argue that it is a tax in order to get this past the Supreme Court."
"The broken promises and the hypocrisy are becoming breathtaking from the President who says one thing to get this past Congress and then another thing to get it past the Supreme Court," he added.
But Democrats argue that the tax penalty would only affect one percent of Americans--those who can afford health insurance but refuse to buy it.
"Those who want to be free riders have to pay. They either have to take responsibility and buy insurance, and there are many ways for them to do it, or they get a penalty," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said. "And the penalty, yes, it is charged under the tax code."
Public opposition to the health care law remains high. Forty-seven percent of those responding in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll say they oppose it while 33 percent say they support it.
Parts of the law are still in court. In Kansas over the week-end. several thousand Catholics gathered to protest the part that requires employers to cover birth control.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are gearing up a vote to repeal the law on July 9. Pelosi said Democrats are ready.
"Everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access. So if that's what they want to repeal, we're happy to have that debate," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
As both sides prepare for November, the attempts to frame the issues are already playing out.
"I think this election will be about the economy. The American people are focused on the economy," White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said on "This Week." "They're asking the questions, 'What are we doing to get it going?'"
Ryan and many Republicans now have a different focus.
"This is a choice of two futures," Ryan said Sunday. "Do you want a government-centered society and a government-driven economy and government rationed health care? Or do you want the American opportunity society with a safety net, a free economy, economic freedom, personal liberty? That's what we want."