House votes to repeal Obama healthcare law, again
(Reuters) - The
Republican-led House of Representatives, on a near party-line vote of
244-185, passed a bill on Wednesday to repeal President Barack Obama's
overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.
Just like previous House
efforts to end all or parts of the two-year-old healthcare law, the bill
is certain to be stopped by Obama's fellow Democrats who control the
Regardless, the fight over
the landmark law, which has divided Americans and rallied the Democrats'
and Republicans' political bases, will likely rage on into the November
Five Democrats joined all Republicans in voting to repeal the law.
Speaker John Boehner and fellow Republicans scheduled Wednesday's vote
after the U.S. Supreme Court last month upheld the law, which requires
nearly all Americans to obtain insurance or face a tax penalty.
were promised this health care law would lower costs and help create
jobs," Boehner said during the debate. "One congressional leader even
suggested it would create 400,000 new jobs. Guess what? It didn't
happen. It is making our economy worse, driving up costs and making it
harder for small businesses to hire new workers."
is a law that the American people did not want when it was passed and
it remains a law that the American people do not want now," said House
Republican Leader Eric Cantor.
"ObamaCare takes away from patients the ability to make their own decisions and individual choices," Cantor said.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called the Republican repeal measure "a
useless bill to nowhere" that would hurt the "health and economic-well
being of America's families."
took advantage of the debate to highlight some of the law's popular
benefits, including allowing young adults to stay on their parent's
health plans until age 26.
also provides additional benefits for the elderly, including free
wellness checkups, and bars insurance companies from setting lifetime
limits on care costs.
Republicans latest count, this was the 33rd time that they have passed
House bills to repeal all or parts of the 2,700-page healthcare law.
While a few provisions have been eliminated or changed, Senate Democrats have not permitted an outright termination of the law.
Representative Jim McDermott mocked Republicans repeated efforts to
repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, as the law is formally called.
a psychiatrist, I'm qualified to say this: One definition of insanity
is doing the same than over and over again and expecting a different
result," McDermott said.
House Republicans remained on the offensive.
new regulations, taxes and mandates are crushing our already weak
economy," said Republican Representative Diane Black.
failed in their bid to attach to the Republican repeal bill a provision
that would require lawmakers to surrender their own taxpayer-subsidized
federal healthcare benefits.
dissatisfaction with the healthcare law helped Republicans win the
House in the 2010 elections, and they hope it can give them a boost
again this year. But Democrats are fighting back, and both sides are
using the issue to raise campaign funds.
House Democratic campaign committee has begun offering bumper stickers
that read: "Dear John Boehner. It's constitutional. Get over it."
support for the healthcare law, despite some fluctuation, is divided
just as it was in 2010. Neither side has made significant lasting
Some recent polling has
suggested that the law is of low importance to voters compared to other
issues, such as the struggling U.S. economy.
Washington Post-ABC News poll published Tuesday showed more voters than
in the past saying the healthcare law will not be a factor when they
cast their vote in November.
poll - a Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken after the Supreme Court
upheld the law's constitutionality last month - found that 51 percent of
independents and 82 percent of Democrats said opponents should move on
to other issues.
But 69 percent of Republican respondents said they want to see efforts continued to roll back the law.
(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Fred Barbash and Eric Walsh)