Our View: Repeal of Obamacare fades from priority list

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Mitt Romney repeatedly said there were a number of things he would do on "day one" as president.

Acutally, Romney's list of what he would do on Day One kept growing, to at least 15 tasks at last count as the campaign neared an end. Clearly, the device was rhetorical since, short of Road Runner-like speed, it would have been physically impossible to carry them all out.

But there was one initial chore Romney seemed most serious about and repeated most often: "Day One. Job One. Repeal Obamacare."

Certainly, there was support for that among House Republicans. They voted 33 times to repeal Obamacare, essentially doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result and accomplishing nothing. Especially after the Supreme Court upheld the bulk of the law.

House Speaker John Boehner, who seems newly liberated now that some of the more vocal members of his caucus have been subdued by Obama's reelection, was asked Thursday by ABC News' Diane Sawyer if repeal of Obamacare was still at the top of the GOP's agenda for the coming year.

His reply: "Well, I think the election changes that. It's pretty clear the president was reelected; Obamacare is the law of the land."

Boehner said that parts of the law will be difficult to implement and very expensive, especially as Congress tried to set a path toward a balanced budget, which is a fair assessment.

Sawyer persisted: "But you won't be spending time next year trying to repeal Obamacare?"

Boehner replied, "There certainly may be parts of it that we believe need to be changed. We may do that. No decisions at this point."

Later an aide to Boehner tried to, as they say in Washington, walk his remarks back, saying that because Obamacare is costing jobs and threatening our health care the House GOP remains committed to repeal.

But the Speaker had spoken, and in doing so taken off the table an issue, repeal, that has been a major distraction and waste of time for the House.

Mitt Romney won't be president. Barack Obama's "Day One" actually will be more like Act II. And his priorities obviously will be different.

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