House votes to repeal Obamacare
The House of Representatives has voted to repeal President Obama’s health care law by a vote of 244 to 185, mostly along party lines. House Republicans were joined by five Democrats. The vote marks the thirty-first time Republicans have voted on the health care law, with 29 votes to defund and one previous vote for repeal. However, Republicans lack enough votes in the Senate for repeal and the vote is seen largely as symbolic.
Debate leading up to Wednesday’s vote on Eric Cantor’s “Repeal of Obamacare Act,” the full repeal of President Obama’s health care reform law, was viewed by Republicans as an opportunity to put their opposition to the law on the record.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said, speaking of the Supreme Court’s ruling, “Obamacare is now the official law of the land,” but Rep. Sessions went on to say that “there is something this body can do to reverse the course and to prevent the job destroying aspects of this bill from taking effect, a complete repeal of the bill, we need to repeal Obamacare today.”
Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) said it was “clear the American people know what our Democratic leaders still to this day don’t want to admit.” Rep. Nugent claimed “Obamacare eliminates millions of American jobs; it cuts hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare and puts in place 21 tax hikes, going to cost the American people more than 800 billion dollars over the next ten years,” but, “only pays for six years of coverage.” Nugent then went further to say, “what a scam.”
Democrats, on the other hand, took the chance to speak on what they view as the merits of the health care law. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said, “The American people are suffering. They have lost their jobs, their homes and more than fifty million uninsured are worried about whether they are one illness away from disaster.”
Others, like Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) used the occasion to attack her colleagues across the aisle, saying “this tea party majority is so disconnected from reality that this House takes vote after meaningless vote on bills that have no chance at ever becoming law.” Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) went a step further, saying that “what is going on today is another pointless, time wasting exercise. It’s the thirty-first time the Republicans have tried to repeal the bill. The game is over. The referee, John Roberts, blew the whistle.”
But, despite everything, as Republicans go for a vote on full repeal of the law, Rep. Sessions in his closing remarks left open the possibility that aspects of the president’s health care law will remain, saying that “26-year-olds being on their parent’s insurance, that’s a bipartisan idea.”
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