The House voted Wednesday to repeal the federal health care law that was recently upheld by the Supreme Court.
The measure was approved in a 244-185 vote. Five Democrats ended up defecting in the vote. Reps. Mike Ross (D-AR), Dan Boren (D-OK), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Larry Kissell (D-NC), and Jim Matheson (D-UT) all voted yes. All Republicans voted in favor of the bill. (See full voting results)
The House has voted more than 30 times against the health care bill since its passage in March 2010. Previous measures have never made it through the Democrat-controlled Senate, a fate likely to be in store for this latest measure. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has vowed to block any votes to undo the health care law.
The Obama administration said that it would veto the bill if it somehow made it through the Senate.
In a statement on Monday, the White House said, “The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 6079 because it would cost millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage and care they deserve. It would increase the deficit and detract from the work the Congress needs to do to focus on the economy and create jobs.”
“This law epitomizes Washington at its very worst: intrusive mandates, higher costs, red tape, unaffordable spending, taxes on employers and families and control of personal health care decisions by boards, bureaus and agencies in Washington,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) added, “We must advance common-sense solutions to tackle the challenges in health care by inviting choice and competition into the system. True reform will fix the inequities in our tax system while addressing the structural flaws in Medicare and Medicaid to give patients and doctors greater control of their health care decisions. We can provide universal access to health care without a budget-busting takeover by the federal government.”
Speaking in favor of the health care law, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “It’s unfortunate that
the Republican leadership has chosen to set jobs aside — not just this
week, but essentially every week that they’ve been in charge.”
Ranking Budget Committee member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) added, “What we’re engaged in here in the House of Representatives right now is a total waste of taxpayer money. It’s no wonder the American people think so little of this institution.”
Some House Republicans have begun a campaign to defund ObamaCare following the repeal vote. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) are gathering signatures this week for a letter asking GOP leaders to defund the healthcare law this year.
The letter states, in part, “We appreciate your willingness to schedule a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare. We should continue efforts to repeal the law in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful. However, in the meantime, there is more we can do in Congress.
“Since much of the implementation of ObamaCare is a function of the discretionary appropriations process, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that ObamaCare should never go into effect, we urge you not to bring to the House floor in the 112th Congress any legislation that provides or allows funds to implement ObamaCare through the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other federal entity. We also urge you to take legislative steps necessary to immediately rescind all ObamaCare-implementation funds.”
As of the time of this writing, the letter so far has 80 signatures.