On Party-Line Vote, Health Reform Repeal Fails In the Senate
Senate Republicans failed to muster enough votes to repeal the health law. But a vote to delete a small, revenue-raising provision of the sweeping law did pass, in a bipartisan vote.
The Hill: "The Senate on Wednesday voted down a repeal of President Obama's healthcare law in a 47-51 party-line vote. ... Republicans have vowed to carry the fight forward, saying they will seek to de-fund the law as it is implemented. The GOP also has promised Wednesday's repeal vote will not be the last in this Congress" (Pecquet, 2/2).
The Associated Press: "Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the vote marked an opportunity for Democrats who voted for the bill last year 'to listen to those who have desperately been trying to get your attention. To say, yes, maybe my vote for this bill was a mistake, and that we can do better,' McConnell said. ... Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Republican repeal movement would 'take away a child's right to get health insurance and instead give insurance companies the right to use asthma or diabetes as an excuse to take away that care'" (Espo, 2/2).
KHN has video excerpts of the debate (2/2).
Reuters: The Senate voted on the measure "just two days after a federal judge struck down the year-old law as unconstitutional, a ruling that the Obama administration promptly announced it would appeal. The Republican-led House of Representatives, in keeping a campaign vow, voted to repeal the healthcare law last month. Senate rejection of repeal means the embattled law's fate will be decided by court challenges and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court, a process that could extend into next year" (Smith and Ferraro, 2/2).
The Washington Post: "The decision underscores the hurdle that the GOP faces in that Democratic-majority chamber as it tries to overturn the law. All 50 Senate Democrats present and one independent voted against the repeal, while all 47 Republicans voted in favor. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) were not present. The measure was proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Republicans would have needed the support of 13 Democrats due to a Democratic-led procedural move that set up a 60-vote hurdle for the measure to move forward" (Sonmez, 2/2).
Politico: But, the Senate "voted Wednesday for the first time to repeal a piece of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, rolling back a new tax reporting requirement that's been universally panned by business owners. The amendment to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement passed 81-17 with broad bipartisan support. The provision was one that Obama identified in his State of the Union speech as something that Democrats were willing to change. The Senate voted several times last year on repealing the requirement, but all the attempts failed amid partisan bickering over how to pay for it" (Haberkorn, 2/2).