The U.S. Congress passed a bill to repeal President Barack Obama’s bloated, expensive, and unpopular health care reform law, also known as Obamacare, knowing he would veto the bill. But the move sent a strong signal about the GOP’s commitment to striking it down, even if another Democrat ends up the White House.
If that were the case, Republicans might at some point acquire a veto-proof majority.
As expected, the president vetoed the bill today.
Lawmakers tried to dismantle the individual mandate (and the employer mandate), which forces Americans to sign up for health care coverage they can’t afford or face hefty government fines. From the Washington Times:
“Health care has changed for the better, setting this country on a smarter, stronger course,” Mr. Obama said in his veto message, arguing that the measure approved by Congress “would reverse that course.”
“This legislation would cost millions of hard-working middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage they deserve,” the president said. “Reliable health care coverage would no longer be a right for everyone: it would return to being a privilege for a few.”
“Rather than refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle-class families, and create new jobs,” he said.
The Congressional Budget Office released a report last month that showed the so-called reliable health care coverage law will “reduce work hours equivalent to 2 million jobs in the next decade amid a host of incentives not to work or to work less…”
“This is the closest we have come to repealing ObamaCare,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “It clears the path to repealing this law with a Republican president in 2017 and replacing it with a truly patient-centered health care system. We will not back down from this fight to defend the sanctity of life and make quality health care coverage achievable for all Americans.”