On Tuesday, the House voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. This is the first time the House attached a provision requiring that Congress replace President Obama’s health care law.
The House voted Tuesday 239 to 186 on H.R. 596, which would not only repeal Obamacare but force Congress to also replace the health care law. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., sponsored the legislation.
It now heads to the Senate, where its future is uncertain. 60 votes are required for cloture, and there are only 54 Republicans in the new Senate. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was one of the first to get on the offensive ahead of the House vote supporting the Obamacare appeal.
“Instead of Obamcare’s one-size-fits-all approach, we need to pursue consumer-driven reforms that put patients, not bureaucrats, in charge of health care decisions,” Coats said in a press release ahead of the vote Tuesday. “This legislation starts that process.”
One interesting note: three Republicans voted against the Obamacare repeal. The names, as flagged by Heidi Pryzblya of Bloomberg, were Reps. Robert Dold of Illinois, John Katko of New York, and Bruce Poliquin of Maine.
No Democrats voted for the repeal.
3 GOPers vote against repealing #Obamacare: Dold, Katko, Poliquin.
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiPrzybyla) February 3, 2015
Not a single @HouseDemocrats voted to repeal #Obamacare @DanPKnight
— Robert Buckley (@RobertTBuckley) February 3, 2015
Rep. John Fleming, R-La. wrote a letter last week to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, encouraging fellow members of Congress to use budget reconciliation.
Reconciliation is “a procedural manuever which makes it easier for Congress to change current law to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution,” the GOP House Rules Committee website points out. It is also the same tactic that passed Obamacare, noted National Review.
Fleming wrote last week: “Mr. Speaker, our constituents are hurting from the consequences of Obamacare, and we urge you to include reconciliation instructions that will repeal all reconcilable aspects of Obamacare in the fiscal year 2016 budget resolution.”
The Daily Signal pointed out Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has opened the door to utilizing the tactic, which would repeal Obamacare with only 51 votes. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. indicated the upper chamber would use several different mechanisms to get the bill to the president’s desk.
One thing is certain, however: President Obama has signaled that he would veto the legislation.
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BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.