Congress Votes to Repeal Obamacare
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that basically rejects Obamacare, sending a repeal measure to President Obama's desk for the first time in five years.
Lawmakers approved it 240-181, just a few weeks after the Senate passed it late last year.
“With this bill, we are standing for life. 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. They are the signs of failure,” Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said ahead of the vote Wednesday.
The President will, however, veto the legislation, which was the product of an obscure budget procedure in Congress known as reconciliation. Under the process, it only needed a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate to pass rather than a supermajority, meaning it’s not subject to a filibuster.
Congress can try to override a presidential veto, but that would require a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. While the House might attempt to do it, it would be nearly impossible to do in a Senate with only 54 Republicans.
The legislation would eliminate Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, the medical device tax and the so-called Cadillac tax. It would also cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.
Additionally, the bill would end the law’s Medicaid expansion and subsidies and would eliminate the tax increases imposed under the law.
All of the GOP presidential candidates have called for Obamacare to be repealed while their Democratic counterparts have embraced much of the law and have vowed to build on it.
Speaker Ryan has repeatedly said that it’s Republicans’ top priority to offer an Obamacare replacement plan this year. We shall see.