More than 5 years after the Affordable Care Act was passed, Republicans are sending a bill to unravel the healthcare law to the president's desk. President Obama has already vowed to veto the bill.
The GOP finally did what it had been promising to do since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010: Congress passed a bill repealing parts of the health care reform. Although the bill will land on President Obama’s desk, he has already vowed to veto the bill.
The House voted 240-181, almost entirely along party lines with just 1 Democrat voting for the bill and 3 Republicans voting against it. The bill would prevent the federal government from running health care exchanges, eliminate insurance mandates and subsidies, and repeal Medicaid expansion.
In addition, the bill eliminates taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood for 1 year.
“With this bill we are standing for life,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said at a press conference Wednesday after the vote. “We are confronting the president with the hard honest truth: Obamacare doesn’t work. Higher premiums and fewer choices and restricted access—these are not signs of success. Obamacare is not successful.”
The president’s veto is significant because Republicans do not have enough votes to overturn it, making the passage of this bill largely symbolic.
Shortly after the legislation passed the House, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said that the president’s veto of the bill will protect the 17.6 million Americans who have gained insurance coverage since the ACA was implemented.
“The President’s action will protect Americans from going back to a time when they faced bankruptcy due to lifetime caps on coverage, could be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions or couldn’t qualify for Medicaid coverage when struggling to make ends meet,” she said in a statement.
Currently, the GOP does not have a replacement plan should the ACA be repealed.
“The people deserve a truly patient-centered health care system. And ultimately this is going to require a Republican president.