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GOP doubles down on health care repeal promise

6/28: SCOTUS upholds health care law; wounded troops' war for recovery
Chief Justice John Roberts, considered a solid conservative, joined the liberal justices to uphold key parts of the massive health care law, including the individual mandate; And, U.S. combat troops are expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But after a trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, David Martin reports the patients are a reminder of a war we're still fighting.

(CBS News) Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, the Republican party is doubling down on its promise to repeal the law.

The ruling, the GOP hopes, will increase voter opposition to the law, spur financial donors to write a few more checks, and ultimately turn out more Republican voters in November. The party is already touting numbers to prove the financial aspect of the plan is working.

And should anyone doubt the GOP's sincerity about its repeal efforts, they can look toward Republican-led states where leaders are still refusing to implement the law.

On CBS This Morning Friday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House would vote to repeal the law on July 11. The vote will be essentially symbolic, since the Democratic-led Senate would never follow suit, and President Obama would obviously never sign the repeal. But Cantor said that the continued debate over the health care law is "all about this election and whether this law is going to go forward or not... Mitt Romney will be the one that will, frankly, get the health care that most people want back on track."


Health care is hardly the most important issue for voters at this point, but Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday that the Supreme Court ruling is bringing the law back into public consciousness. He said he expects opposition to the law -- which polls show is already high -- will now increase.

"Reality's going to dawn on people," he said on a conference call with reporters. "The American people did not want or approve of Obamacare back then [when it passed], and they certainly don't now." Because of the court ruling, he continued, "People are actually thinking about it, focused on it."

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The fierce opposition drove Republicans to the polls in 2010, and yesterday's ruling prompted them to open their wallets. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign reported at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday that in the last 24 hours, it had raised $4.3 million with 43,000 donations online "from voters who have a renewed sense of energy to repeal and replace this bad law."

Repealing the law is an easy promise for Republicans to make, but it wouldn't be an easy promise to keep. Virginia's Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell insisted on a conference call with reporters Friday that Romney has been "unequivocal" in stating that repealing the law would be a "top priority."

"On day one he would do everything he could administratively to gut Obamacare," he said.

As for an actual repeal, Republicans argue they can pull it off if they win the White House and both chambers Congress in November. There's no way Republicans could win the 60 Senate votes that would be needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster, but some contend the GOP could use some legislative maneuvering -- through a process called reconciliation -- to get around that, at least to repeal much of the law.

Furthermore, Jindal said Friday, Democrats will want to join Republicans by that point, since it will be clear the health care law is a loser politically. "I predict you'll have many Democrats from swing states that will also vote with the new majorities on repealing Obamacare," he said.

At least one Democrat, North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp, responded to the Supreme Court ruling by pointing out the positive parts of the law but also saying she'd work with Republicans to "fix the bad pieces."

"There are good things in the health care bill, like keeping insurance companies from dropping people for pre-existing conditions, closing the Medicare Donut Hole, and allowing parents to keep their children covered until they turn 26," said Heitkamp. "Moving forward, I'll work with both parties to control costs, keep the good pieces intact and fix the bad pieces, like the individual mandate."

Jindal said he would do everything he can to stop the law in his state.

"We refuse to set up the exchange," Jindal said, referring to the state-based health insurance marketplace every state is expected to establish by 2014. (They are also expected to have a blueprint for it by November 16 of this year.) If the states do not set up the exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services will do it for them.

"We're not going to start setting up Obamacare," the governor continued. "I absolutely believe [Romney] will be elected in November and one of his first actions will be to repeal and replace this law."

McDonnell refused to say whether Virginia would opt into the health law's expansion of Medicaid. The expansion was originally required for states that wanted to keep Medicaid going forward, but the Supreme Court said states could opt in or out.

"We're going to evaluate that," he said. "Frankly, the federal government has been both slow and unclear in interpreting this monstrosity passed."

As they continue their calls for repeal, Republicans are seizing on the Supreme Court's ruling that the most controversial part -- the individual mandate -- amounts to a tax. The Republican National Committee on Friday released a video compiling instances in which Mr. Obama said the mandate wasn't a tax. The issue could be problematic for both Mr. Obama and Romney, since Romney also passed a mandate as governor of Massachusetts, but the GOP is keeping up the attack.

"President Obama said three years ago it's not a tax... that turned out to be false," McDonnell said. "More entitlements, less accountability -- that's the Obama record."

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