Battle looms over preexisting conditions

WASHINGTON, June 19: Eric Cantor pulls no punches about what Republicans in the US House of Representatives will do to “Obamacare” if the Supreme Court leaves any of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law intact.
“We’re going to take a bill to the floor that calls for the total repeal of Obamacare,” the House majority leader said in a nationally televised press conference this month.
Why? “So that we can start over and we can tell the American people: we’re on your side,” the Virginia Republican explained. “We care about your health care, we want quality care and affordable prices for as many Americans that are there looking for that to happen.”
What might sound like music to some voters’ ears is also part of the political dance that Republicans and Democrats have started as they await a landmark ruling on the 2010 healthcare reform from the Supreme Court within the next two weeks.
In an election year, the political stakes are high on an issue which, many polls show, has divided the nation.
How the court’s decision is framed politically, whether by the Democrats and Obama or the Republicans and their presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, could sway wavering independent voters that each side probably needs to win the Nov. 6 election.
Obama and Democrats might stand to gain electorally from the ruling even if it overturns part of his landmark policy achievement.
But up to now, Republicans have dominated the political message on healthcare with calls to “repeal and replace” the law, condemned by conservatives as a government intrusion into the lives of private citizens that will only waste taxpayer money and drive healthcare costs higher. MORE (AGENCIES)