Republican leaders in Congress said they could overturn Barack Obama’s healthcare law with a razor-thin majority if Mitt Romney wins the White House and that it would fall to individual states to preserve a critical patient protection in the law.
At the same time, Democrats were seeking to insulate themselves from criticism that “Obamacare” imposed a new tax on the middle class – a charge that has emerged from the Supreme Court decision on the legality of the law – by rebranding the legislation as one that punished “free riders” in the insurance system.
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Mr Romney, the Republican nominee for president, promised in the aftermath of the court ruling last week that he would “act to repeal Obamacare” on his first day in office.
While the former Massachusetts governor has been short on details, the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said on Fox News that Republicans would use the same legislative manoeuvre to undo Obamacare that Democrats used to pass it in 2010.