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January 20, 2011 at 1:44 PM

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Cantwell asks GOP to really repeal the health-care law

Posted by Kyung M. Song

WASHINGTON -- The House Republicans on Wednesday voted to scrap the new health-care law. Now Sen. Maria Cantwell is calling on them to repeal a piece of it for real.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, Cantwell and two Democratic senators urged his chamber to pass a measure to rescind an unpopular paperwork requirement created by the new Affordable Care Act.

Attempts to kill that provision - which compels small businesses to keep track of any purchases of more than $600 a year to a single vendor - fell victim to partisan gamesmanship last year despite widespread support from both Republicans and Democrats. The bookkeeping rule was designed to help pay for expanded health coverage by tightening tax collections.

Now with the vote on the wholesale repeal of the health law out of the way, Cantwell said it's time for Boehner and his Republican colleagues to pass "an important and practical way to improve the Affordable Care Act."

"We are confident that the Senate can quickly act on (it) once the House has passed it," said the letter, which was also signed by Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Cantwell's spokesman John Diamond said repealing a part of something that House Republicans already opted to repeal isn't redundant.

"It's one thing to pass symbolic bills. It's another to do the work our constituents want done where there's a clear consensus," Diamond said. "That's the challenge the three senators are laying before the House Speaker today."

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