By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Obama has vowed to veto the bill when it crosses his desk.
The House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal Obamacare 240-181, joining the Senate version of the bill that passed last month through budget reconciliation, according to The Street. The House bill, passed almost exclusively along party lines, would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.
The vote comes after more than 50 unsuccessful attempts to pass a bill undoing Obamacare, according to Healthcare Exchange. President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bill when it crosses his desk and will have until mid-January to do so.
The Senate bill, H.R. 3762, Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, was the first ACA repeal act to make it through the Senate, though House Republicans have consistently voted to repeal all or parts of the ACA.
H.R. 3762, passed in the House on October 23, 2015, puts major provisions on the ACA, essentially making the law unworkable by reversing several key tax and spending provisions. According to govtrack.us, the bill:
- repeals the Affordable Care Act’s mandates that individuals have health insurance and that employers provide it
- repeals the “Cadillac” tax on premium health care plans
- prohibits Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood services for one year
- increases the Community Health Center Fund by $235 million/year for two years
A version of the bill then was passed by the Senate by a vote of 52-47 before being sent back to the House for further consideration. The amended Senate version amended the bill to include the repeal of the following ACA provisions: Medicaid expansion, the medical device excise tax, and tax credits for insurance premiums.
Republicans are using this opportunity to force President Obama’s hand in vetoing the bill and setting the stage for a complete repeal of the ACA under a new Republican president. According to a press release, “Obamacare is wreaking havoc on working families, schools, and small businesses,” Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said. “It is our responsibility to use every tool we have to dismantle the president’s flawed health care scheme, and this bill allows us to do just that. This proposal also represents an important opportunity to reduce federal spending and help rein in our nation’s deficits and debt.”