cloudy
Wednesday February 10th, 2016 3:53AM

Shutdown showdown intensifies over Obamacare delay

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The political and economic stakes mounting with each tick of the clock, the White House and congressional Democrats say a House-approved delay in President Barack Obama's health care law does nothing but push Washington to the brink of the first government shutdown in 17 years.

Neither side showed signs of surrender early Sunday after the Republican-led House added a one-year delay in implementing health-care reform to legislation that would avert a shuttering of federal offices on Tuesday. The near party-line vote was 231-192, shifting the focus to the Democratic-run Senate less than 48 hours before government funds run dry. (See separate story.)

Democrats said delaying the health care law would sink the bill. They also opposed a second provision the House added by 248-174: A repeal of a tax on many medical devices that helps finance the 2010 health care overhaul.

Republicans said the health care law, often called "Obamacare," was costing jobs and pushing up costs. Americans dislike "this crazy, delusional idea that nationalized, centralized planning will work," said Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.

Obama has said he won't let the law - his chief domestic achievement - be gutted. Democrats said Republicans were obsessed with attacking the measure, aimed at providing health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, and the president.

"Your hate for this president is coming before your love of this country," said Rep. David Scott, D-Ga. "Because if you love this country you would not be closing it down."

As prospects for preventing a shutdown dwindled, the White House promised Obama's veto should the bill reach his desk. Yet it seemed unlikely the president would get the chance because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate would reject the measure.

The House bill contained new concessions from Republicans who have long criticized the requirements the health care law imposes on insurers.

They said their measure would leave intact most parts of the health care law that have already taken effect, including requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and to let families' plans cover children up to age 26. An exception: Insurers would be allowed to deny abortion coverage based on religious or moral objections.

But it would delay a requirement for people to purchase coverage or face a penalty, and the creation of marketplaces - which are supposed to start functioning this Tuesday - where people could shop for coverage from private insurers.

Repealing the 2.3 percent medical device tax would boost deficits by roughly $29 billion over the coming decade - even though Republicans won the House majority in 2010 by pledging to tighten the nation's finances.

The shutdown bill brought unity, for the moment, to Republicans who have recently been divided and, at times, openly antagonistic toward each other.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders initially preferred waging the fight over health care on a separate bill for raising the government's debt limit, thus avoiding threatening a shutdown.

But a small cadre of younger Republicans led by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah whipped up sentiment among fellow conservatives for using the shutdown measure for an all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act.

That drew scorn from many Republicans who saw it as an effort that could never prevail with Obama in the White House and Democratic Senate control, and that might prompt a shutdown for which voters would fault the GOP. Yet many conservatives have not relented.

The House also approved a separate bill paying troops, plus some defense contractors and civilian Pentagon workers, should a shutdown occur. The vote was 423-0.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 2 years ago )
Amtrak to suspend some Crescent service in Jan., Feb.
Amtrak service will shut down in parts of the Southeast for several days in January and February for rail maintenance by Norfolk Southern Railway.
9:00AM ( 2 years ago )
Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all
Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
7:26AM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 2 years ago )
NSA reportedly intercepts computer deliveries
A German magazine has lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency's hacker unit, revealing how American spies intercepted computer deliveries, exploited hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijacked Microsoft's bug report system to spy on their targets.
12:31PM ( 2 years ago )
Rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel
Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries but sparking an Israeli reprisal shelling in a rare flare-up between the two countries.
12:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Politics
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 1 day ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 4 days ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 1 week ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 1 week ago )
America, its politics in flux as voting begins
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.
By The Associated Press
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )