WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top Republican lawmaker John Boehner said on Thursday he would not make it his mission to repeal the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law following the re-election of President Barack Obama.
“The election changes that,” Boehner, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, told ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer when asked if repealing the law was “still your mission.”
“It’s pretty clear that the president was re-elected,” Boehner added. “Obamacare is the law of the land.”
Under Boehner’s leadership, the House tried repeatedly to repeal the healthcare law, the signature domestic measure of Obama’s first term. While a few provisions were eliminated or changed, Senate Democrats blocked outright termination of the law.
Boehner added that parts of the law were going to be difficult to implement and that everything had to be on the table as lawmakers try to create a path to a balanced budget.
A spokesman for Boehner said later the speaker and House Republicans “remain committed to repealing the law, and he said in the interview it would be on the table.”
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the biggest overhaul of the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system since the 1960s, aims to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning in January 2014.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the reforms in a landmark June ruling.
Defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had vowed to repeal the law if he were elected.
In Tuesday’s election, Republicans kept their majority in the House and Democrats maintained control of the Senate.
In the ABC interview, Boehner also said a comprehensive approach to immigration reform was needed and he was confident that Republicans could find common ground with Obama on the issue.
Reporting By Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Peter Cooney