House lawmakers voted to repeal the federal health care overhaul — the latest in a long line of anti-“ObamaCare” votes, but the first since the Supreme Court upheld the law and defined one of its key provisions as a “tax.” Click below to read the rest of the story.
The House has voted more than 30 times to scrap, defund or undercut the law since Obama signed it in March 2010. As with those bills, the repeal bill approved Wednesday on a 244-185 vote faces certain demise in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
But Republicans were looking to get lawmakers back on record on the law in the wake of the high court ruling last month. The ruling upheld most the law as constitutional, but in doing so determined that the controversial penalty on those who do not buy insurance technically qualifies as a “tax” and not a “penalty” as the administration had claimed. That definition fueled GOP criticism of the law, and put some Democrats in a politically tricky position.
Five Democrats ended up defecting Wednesday. Reps. Mike Ross, D-Ark.; Dan Boren, D-Okla.; Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.; Larry Kissell, D-N.C.; and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, all voted yes.
In a show of party unity, all Republicans voted for the bill.
“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-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
But Democratic leaders panned GOP efforts as a waste of time.
“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 … to spend time on partisan messaging only,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.
She added: “Politics be damned.”