GOP Moves Healthcare Repeal Battle to Senate

Democrats say GOP Senators will have to go on the record with a vote on each popular provision.

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BY Michael Mcauliff
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Republican senators vowed Sunday they'll vote to repeal health insurance reforms as the House did last week.

Sen. Chuck Schumer quickly promised the GOP would get its chance at repeal - one painful vote at a time.

"If Republicans insist on bringing the repeal bill up in the Senate, we will require them to vote up or down on the parts of the law that protect consumers and are very popular," the New York Democrat said. [See who donates the most money to your member of Congress.]

"Their repeal bill will have so many holes, it will look like Swiss cheese."

Schumer's comments came after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared: "I assure you we will have a vote on repeal."

"We intend to go after this health care bill any way we can," McConnell said on Fox News Sunday. "It's the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed in my time in the Senate."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), speaking later on CBS's Face the Nation, called it a matter of campaign promises.

"We have to have a vote on repeal so that everybody is on record," McCain said. "And then I think piece by piece, we go through, quote, replacing."

Schumer especially likes the piece-by-piece approach.

"Do Republicans really want to vote to repeal the ban on preexisting conditions?" he said, ticking off popular items. [Check out a roundup of healthcare cartoons.]

"Do they really want to repeal the guidelines that allow young adults who have graduated college and are just entering the workforce to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26?”

Schumer and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez also fired a shot Sunday at House Republicans who pulled off the repeal vote, writing to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that his effort could cost 3 million Medicare recipients $250 apiece.

That's how much money they each got from the federal government last year to fill the gap in prescription drug coverage known as the doughnut hole. Federal number-crunchers said recently they might have to pay that back if the repeal becomes law.