Republican threats to kill health-care reform: Real or showboating?

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about Republican's effort to kill healthcare reform.

By Lee-Anne Goodman
The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON - Republicans now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives are vowing to kill the sweeping health-care overhaul that's been President Barack Obama's biggest legislative achievement — but are their threats mere political showboating or a symbolic opening shot in a bitter battle ahead?

As they were sworn in on Wednesday, party leaders reiterated their intention to introduce a bill in the House next week that would repeal so-called Obamacare. . .

It's a strategy that's been met with some ridicule, given Democrats still control the Senate and Obama would veto a repeal from the Oval Office. Some also suggest the repeal bill is simply aimed at coddling the new Tea Party members of the Republican caucus who vehemently oppose health-care reform. . .

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, says it's true the Republican repeal bill has no legs. But Republicans have other weapons in their arsenal now that they control the House of Representatives, and won't hesitate to use them in their fight against health-care reform.

"This is the first stage of a process to slowly take it apart, even though the vote to repeal won't go anywhere," he said Wednesday.

"The Republicans, through a number of different legislative processes, can slow down implementation, and take Obamacare apart if possible. They'll do that through a number of oversight hearings and committees, where they'll call on members of the administration to defend it and try to keep public opinion negative on health-care reform."

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