Reconciliation Bill Passes, But Health Reform Battle Not Over for GOP

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , March 26, 2010

Former presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain (R AZ), said Thursday that Republicans will devise a strategy in the months leading up to the midterm elections that focuses on "repeal and replace."

Other GOP legislators, such as Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee, are looking for more legislative adjustments. Grassley introduced a bill Thursday that would "apply the new healthcare law to the President, Vice President, cabinet members, top White House staff, and the congressional staff who drafted the measure enacted this week."

Grassley's amendment was included in the Senate Finance Committee's bill approved last fall, but was later removed in subsequent legislation. Under the current reform legislation, "President Obama will not have to live under the Obama healthcare reforms, and neither will the congressional staff who helped to write the overhaul," Grassley said.

"The message to the people at the grassroots is that it's good enough for you, but not for us," he said. Congress could act to pass his "Health Reform Accountability Act" at any time, he said.

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at

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