House Votes To Repeal Health Law
The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives late Wednesday fulfilled a campaign pledge and passed a bill to repeal the federal health care law. The vote was 245 to 189. However Senate Democrats have said that they will not take up the measure.
Los Angeles Times: "The Republican-led House of Representatives voted Wednesday to repeal the 10-month-old health reform law, a symbolic rebuke of President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment. The move fulfilled a pledge Republicans made to voters in the 2010 campaign for a swift vote to undo what they called the 'job-killing' measure." The Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, has no plans to take up the measure. But "GOP leaders sought Wednesday to ramp up political pressure on the Senate to act" (Memoli, 1/19).
USA Today: "After a heated midterm election, the Republican-led House easily passed legislation to repeal the nation's sweeping health care law" (Camia, 1/19).
MSNBC: "Three Democrats voted with all House Republicans on Wednesday to repeal the health care reform bill signed into law by Barack Obama last year. Democratic Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Mike Ross of Arkansas, and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina joined GOP lawmakers in supporting the symbolic vote to repeal the law" (Thomas and Dann, 1/19).
The Hill: "Democratic support for the repeal measure fell far below the projections of some high-profile Republicans. Earlier this week, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) predicted this week that 15 Democrats would vote for repeal. And earlier this month, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) predicted the repeal vote would gain some bipartisan backing" (Millman, 1/19).
Politico: The vote repesented the GOP's "first major step toward rolling back the massive overhaul that has dominated the American political landscape for almost two years. The vote was 245 to 189, and unanimous GOP opposition gave the vote the same partisan feel of the March vote to pass the law, underscoring once again the hardened political lines of the health care debate" (Budoff Brown, 1/19).
The Wall Street Journal: "The repeal attempt is certain to founder as the Democratic-controlled Senate won't take up the measure. Even if by some chance any form of significant health-care repeal legislation passed both chambers of Congress, the president wouldn't hesitate to use his veto pen. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said after the Wednesday vote that he would pressure Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) to bring the matter up for a vote in the Senate. Republicans have repeatedly denied the vote is simply a political gesture, insisting that they were reacting to the American public, which they said is widely opposed to the health-care law" (Boles, 1/19).
The Boston Globe: The vote "helped fulfill an election promise that many Tea Party-backed Republicans made during the midterm elections that carried them into office" (Viser, 1/19).
ABC News: "On Thursday, the House will hold another vote calling on four committees to begin work on crafting a replacement bill that will yank some of the most contentious parts of the bill, such as the changes to Medicare Advantage and the requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance by 2014" (Khan, 1/19).
Bloomberg: "Republicans, who won control of the House in November's elections, have yet to offer specific proposals or a timeline for presenting their health-care bill. During debate today, Republicans said their plan would include many provisions that Democrats touted in the existing law, including allowing young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans up to age 26 and barring insurers from rejecting coverage for people based on pre-existing conditions (Lerer and Armstrong, 1/19).
Miami Herald/McClatchy: "Changes over the next two years could involve reducing paperwork burdens on businesses, permitting the sale of coverage across state lines, denying the government funds to implement the law, and denying funds for a series of grants and other health-related programs. Still, many political hurdles stand between House Republicans and success in those endeavors, as one house of Congress generally needs to reach compromise with the other house - and the president - to achieve anything" (Lightman, 1/19).
Related coverage from Kaiser Health News:
Health Law Repeal Debate: 22 Freshmen Republicans In Under 4 Minutes - Freshmen Voices: The large class of Republican freshmen swept into office in the November elections had their voices heard in the repeal debate. Republican leadership put a special emphasis on these new members of Congress. Here are excerpts of what some of the freshmen had to say about the law that so many passionately campaigned against (1/19).
Health Law Repeal: The Words Matter - "Word clouds" show the most-frequently used words chosen by Republican and Democratic members, respectively, during Tuesday's floor debate.
Congress' New GOP Doctors Say Health Law Is Wrong Prescription (Carey and Werber Serafini, 1/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.