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Despite earlier ‘no’ vote on health care overhaul, Peterson won’t back wholesale repeal

Collin Peterson will oppose a wholesale repeal of the health care overhaul law if and when Republicans bring it up in the House, despite having originally voted against the law.

WASHINGTON — Blue Dog Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson will not back a House Republican effort to repeal the entire newly-passed health care overhaul law, his office confirmed today, despite having opposed the bill when it was originally offered.

“He will vote to repeal parts of the bill, but not all of it, because he views that as a political vote,” said spokeswoman Allison Myhre in an e-mail to MinnPost, echoing comments Peterson himself made shortly after the bill’s passage last year.

Republicans plan to push a bill to fully repeal the health care overhaul as early as later this month, according to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan. Rep. Michele Bachmann agreed Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation that a “clean” repeal bill would be coming soon.

“You’ve seen that the more the people learn about Obamacare the less they like it. It’s very costly, it’s unwieldy,” Bachmann said. “So we will put forth a clean repeal bill of Obamacare and you’ll continue to see us make that fight because that’s what the American people want us to do.”

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To be frank, it’s a move that is more statement than serious attempt at repeal because there is absolutely no chance that the Senate would even take up a repeal measure, let alone approve it, and Republicans are at least 40 votes removed from a veto-proof majority in the House.

Peterson’s refusal to join the protest vote will be a setback for GOP leaders who had hoped for significant Dem crossover opposition in an attempt to bolster support for efforts to pare back the new law, which has begun taking effect but won’t fully phase in until 2014. Peterson is one of just 12 Democrats who voted against the final health care bill who will return to Congress in the 112th Session, according to The Hill, which also quoted Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski’s office taking a similar line to Peterson’s.

However, Republicans have pledged to whittle away at the bill, through refusing to fund enforcement of parts of it and by putting unpopular segments of the bill (such as the individual insurance coverage mandate) up for a stand-alone vote. In ending the individual mandate, for example, they’ve certainly got the votes in the House and at the very least are close in the Senate.

Opponents have also filed several legal challenges to the health overhaul law and both supporters and opponents say at least one case is likely to find its way to the Supreme Court.