Rep. Heath Shuler: 'It Would Be Immoral' to Repeal Parts of Obamacare That Deal With Children

January 10, 2011 - 6:05 PM

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.)

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) will not support Republican efforts to repeal the health care bill that he voted against in 2010 and will not vote to defund many provisions in the bill that are already in effect.

On Capitol Hill last week, CNSNews.com asked Shuler: “Rep. Steve King is advocating including language in every appropriations bill to prohibit money from that bill funding implementation of Obamacare. Do you support defunding Obamacare in that way?”

Shuler said he would vote to change parts of Obamacare, but that it would be "immoral" to repeal those parts that extend benefits to children.

“I have to look at the legislation,” he said. “There’s some things that have currently become law -- children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied, children can stay on their parent’s health insurance until they’re 26 and it’s closing a donut hole for seniors. Those are the good things. Those things we should keep in place.”

Shuler said he would vote to change other parts of the legislation such as the provision that requires small business to file 1099 tax forms whenever they make a purchase over $600.

“(W)hat we should do is correct the things like the 1099 form those issues and the reasons why I voted against it," he told CNSNews.com. "And the most important is that we didn’t do anything to cut the rising cost of health care. That’s the most important thing. And I listen to jargon on both the Democratic side and the Republican side and yet no one is willing to address like I have stated form the very beginning.”

However Shuler was adamant that he would not vote to repeal any part of the law that is currently providing care to children.

“No, no. It would be immoral to take insurance now that’s being provided for children who have a pre-existing condition, you would literally be taking that away from them. That would be immoral to do that.”

"What I will vote for is to keep those things that are current law in place, those things that are out there that I don’t like -- hopefully they will give us an opportunity as they said they would for amendments to improve the health care bill. But it would be immoral to take away from those children.”

A member of the moderate Blue Dog Democrat coalition, Shuler failed in his bid to unseat liberal former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as House minority leader -- a move he had predicted. But the former NFL player did garner 11 votes for Speaker of the House last week.

Congressional Democrats passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and President Barack Obama signed it into law in March 2010.

In a Jan. 3 interview with CNSNews.com’s Editor-in-Chief Terry Jeffrey, King said that House Republicans should include language that prohibits any funding for implementation of Obamacare in every appropriations bill that passes this year to force a showdown on the issue with the Democratic-majority Senate and the president.

“Somebody’s going to blink,” King said in the interview. “It’ll be President Obama or it’ll be House Republicans. If House Republicans refuse to blink, we will succeed,” he said. “Obamacare will never become the effective law of the land and we’ll be able to leave a legacy of liberty for the future generations.”

Under King’s plan, congressional Republicans would first force a straight up-or-down vote on repealing Obamacare in the House and Senate. They would then follow that by inserting language into all appropriations bills that says no money from the bill(s) can be used to implement the federal health care program.

King told CNSNews.com: “So, my proposal is this then: Each appropriations bill that comes through, we need to put language in it that prohibits any of the dollars that are appropriated in those funds – and I would add to that any funds heretofore appropriated – from being used to implement or enforce Obamacare.”