Harry Hamburg, Associated Press
House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., presides over the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

The battle in the House to repeal ObamaCare is heating up in a big way out in Washington, D.C.

By now you've probably already heard that on Thursday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a new estimate predicting that a repeal of ObamaCare will add $230 billion to the national deficit over a 10-year period. The reason for such a big bump to the projected deficit lays in the fact that, if repealed, ObamaCare won't have a chance to deliver the savings to taxpayers that the CBO previously calculated it would.

As a foundational reference point, here's how the L.A. Times describes the role of the CBO: "The closely watched CBO, an agency that lawmakers from both parties have historically relied on, is considered one of the most important independent sources for information about the effect of proposed legislation." (scroll to sixth paragraph)

The Republican reaction to the CBO's estimates from Thursday basically amounts to, "They're wrong and we're right, and oh-by-the-way ObamaCare is a serial job-killer."

House Speaker John A. Boehner said, "CBO is entitled to their opinion. I do not believe that repealing the job-killing healthcare law will increase the deficit." (scroll to fifth paragraph)

Utah's House delegation is split along party lines on this issue. Republicans Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop want to repeal ObamaCare, while Jim Matheson recently announced he will not vote to repeal the health care reform.

Below are several links to some articles from numerous national publications that keep tabs on the latest developments in the debate over ObamaCare:

Washington Post

New York Times


Associated Press


Note: All discussions about repealing ObamaCare come with a couple of caveats. First of all, opponents of ObamaCare are already trying to get the federal courts to throw out the new legislation on the grounds that it's unconstitutional. Secondly, it is extremely unlikely that a repeal of ObamaCare would ever pass the U.S. Senate because Democrats could always filibuster and, barring that, Republicans would still need to persuade 20 Democrats or Independents to cross the aisle on this issue in order to reach the two-thirds vote necessary to override a presidential veto — because it will be a cold day in Death Valley before Pres. Obama signs a bill that would repeal the health care reform he spent so much political capital on enacting in the first place.

E-mail: jaskar@desnews.com