Nov. 8, 2012 – 6:33 p.m.

Boehner Suggests GOP Will Target Specific Pieces of Health Care Law

While acknowledging that President Obama’s health care overhaul is “the law of the land,” House Speaker John A. Boehner also said Thursday that Republicans would continue to look at whittling it down.

Boehner’s comments indicate that while the 113th Congress may not be a repeat of the last, in which House Republicans voted twice to fully repeal the law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152), parts of the law could still be vulnerable.

As lawmakers try to reach an agreement on a balanced budget, “everything has to be on the table,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith added in a statement: “Speaker Boehner and House Republicans remain committed to repealing the law, and he said in the interview it would be on the table.”

Repealing the law has been a top priority for Republicans in Congress, but Senate Democrats have blocked most of their attempts. Along with the two full repeal votes, House Republicans have made about 30 other attempts to defund, change or strike down parts of the law.

Boehner also posted a message on Twitter Thursday saying that full repeal remains Republicans’ goal. But with Obama still in the White House and Democrats still in control of the Senate, House Republicans may focus on modifying the law piece by piece.

“I think there are parts of the health care law that are going to be very difficult to implement, and very expensive,” Boehner said in the interview. “There certainly may be parts of it that we believe need to be changed. We may do that.”

Although Boehner did not specify any parts, the most likely targets for repeal are those that can gain Democratic support. In a letter to House Republicans, Majority Leader Eric Cantor suggested that Democrats could join them in repealing the law’s Medicare cost-cutting board.

The House passed a bill (HR 5) to repeal the 15-member advisory board earlier this year, with some Democratic support. Cantor, R-Va., expressed hope that more Democrats could join them if Republicans make a strong public case for repeal.

“There are some issues that I suspect Sen. Reid will have a difficult time compelling his members to oppose outright,” Cantor wrote in the Nov. 7 letter, referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Another possible target is the law’s 2.3 percent excise tax on manufacturers and importers of medical devices, which takes effect in 2013. The House passed a bill (HR 436) to repeal that tax, with some Democratic support.