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Boehner: 'Obamacare is the law of the land'

Top Talkers: After re-election, House Speaker John Boehner says he believes the House GOP and President Obama will find common ground "to avoid the fiscal cliff." Boehner is also talking less harshly about the president's signature health care law.

 

Updated 6 p.m. ET - Republicans' efforts to undo President Barack Obama's health care reform law appear to have come to an end, as House Speaker John Boehner described it Thursday as the "law of the land."

In an interview with ABC News, the nation's top elected Republican seemed to indicate that Congress wouldn't engage in the type of repeated repeal votes the way it had in the past two years. Boehner's office provided a transcript of the exchange:

SAWYER:

A couple of other questions about the agenda now.  You have said next year that you would repeal the healthcare vote.  That's still your mission?

BOEHNER:

Well, I think the election changes that.  It's pretty clear that the president was reelected, Obamacare is the law of the land.  I think there are parts of the healthcare law that are gonna be very difficult to implement.  And very expensive.  And as the time when we're tryin' to find a way to create a path toward a balanced budget everything has to be on the table.

SAWYER:

But you won't be spending the time next year trying to repeal Obamacare?

BOEHNER:

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

The speaker's pronouncement, if nothing else, signifies a pivot away from Republicans' efforts to showcase for conservatives their doggedness in looking to repeal "Obamacare."

It's also a recognition that the 2009-2010 health care law that came to define Obama's first term in office -- and propel Republicans to a majority in the House -- is here to stay.

A spokesman for Boehner sought to clarify the speaker's comments.

"While ObamaCare is the law of the land, it is costing us jobs and threatening our health care," said Kevin Smith, the speaker's communications director. "Speaker Boehner and House Republicans remain committed to repealing the law, and he said in the interview it would be on the table."

The Supreme Court's summer 2012 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the law disarmed conservatives of one of their best possible chances of defeating the health care law once and for all.

And Mitt Romney's loss on Tuesday meant that Republicans won't have in the White House a president that could severely limit the scope of the law before its key provisions begin to take effect in 2014.

House Speaker John Boehner reacts to the re-election of President Barack Obama, while pushing for a "balanced approach" to solving America's debt issues.