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House sets vote to repeal health insurance mandate Posted: January 5th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Riding the wave of their November victories, the new Republican majority in the U.S. House has indicated that a vote on repealing health care reform will likely happen sooner rather than later. The reform provisions, which are scheduled to phase in through 2014, include a mandate that all legal U.S. residents maintain health insurance coverage.

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) stated that a vote on the repeal would occur prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. The incoming Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee predicted that a number of Democrats would join the 242 Republican House members in voting for a repeal.

Meanwhile, incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH) has placed the issue on the chamber's schedule for the week of Jan. 10. The yet to be numbered bill will be introduced by Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) and named "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act."

While the legislation is expected to gain support in the House, political observers do not expect the health insurance mandate to be repealed. With the Senate and White House under Democratic control, any vote at this time would be largely symbolic.