January 3, 2011 / 11:26 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-US House Republicans move to repeal Obama healthcare

* Vote scheduled for Jan. 12

* Healthcare law extended insurance coverage to millions

By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to pass a bill next week to repeal President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, a senior party aide said on Monday, but the effort is widely expected to fail in the Senate.

The new Congress will convene on Wednesday with Republicans in control of the House after November’s midterm elections. They are set to move ahead with their campaign promise to try to rescind the new healthcare law, one of Obama’s signature legislative victories.

Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for incoming House Republican leader Eric Cantor, said the House plans to vote on legislation to repeal the healthcare law on Jan. 12.

“It will pass the House,” Dayspring said.

Although Republicans will control the House, 242-193, Obama’s Democrats retain control of the Senate by 53-47 and are likely to block any repeal of the healthcare law.

“Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Dayspring said.

Republicans, particularly from the fiscally conservative wing, were emboldened to attack the healthcare reform after a good showing in November’s elections.

Among other provisions, the healthcare reform extends healthcare insurance to millions of Americans without coverage, but opinion polls show voters are split over it. The reform has become a favorite target for Republicans who say it is an excessive reach by the federal government.

Even if repeal fails, Republicans will yield considerable sway over the government purse strings and try to use that power to deny the Obama administration’s requests on financing to implement the new healthcare law, a signature achievement.

Dayspring said the House will hold a procedural vote on Friday in preparation for the Jan. 12 vote.

Editing by Stacey Joyce

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