On Wednesday, the House voted 244-185 to approve legislation (HR 6079) that would repeal the federal health reform law, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 7/11).
The vote marks the 33rd time since January 2011 that Republicans have moved to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (Helderman, Washington Post, 7/11).
This measure is not expected to be approved by the Senate (Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, 7/11). Further, President Obama has said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk (Bendavid, Wall Street Journal, 7/11).
Five Democrats voted for the bill. Two of them -- Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.) and Mike Ross (Ark.) -- lean conservative and are not seeking re-election. The other three Democrats who voted for the bill -- Reps. Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) -- are in the midst of "tough re-election battles," according to the Post (Washington Post, 7/11).
Democrats Criticize GOP's Repeal Effort, Lack of Replacement Plan
Several Democrats during debate on the bill criticized Republicans for continuing to pursue repeal without offering a clear replacement plan, The Hill's "Hill Tube" reports (Kasperowicz, "Hill Tube," The Hill, 7/11). Democrats also criticized Republicans for continuing to focus on an issue that already has been settled by the Supreme Court, according to the Post.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the measure was "legislation to nowhere." She added that the legislation would result in loss of coverage for millions of U.S. residents who stand to benefit from the health reform law (Washington Post, 7/11).
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said the GOP is engaged in "a quixotic effort to try and score political points" (Jackson, "The Oval," USA Today, 7/11).
Other Democrats said the vote would backfire for Republicans because it could upset independent voters (Robillard, Politico, 7/11).
Michael Steel, a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), defended the vote. He said House Republicans' "focus has been on repealing this law, because it is making it harder for small businesses to create jobs." Steel said once repeal is achieved "we can begin working to enact common-sense, step-by-step reforms."
According to Politico, Republican leaders have approved a resolution asking committees to draft replacement plans, but comprehensive proposals have yet to surface (Sherman/DoBias, Politico, 7/11).
Democrats Use Vote To Raise Campaign Funds
Meanwhile, some Democrats are hoping to use the health reform law repeal vote to raise campaign funds, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, made a call for donations hours before the vote. During the call, he said, "We have to continue going on offense and hold Republicans accountable for putting insurance company profits over the middle class" (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/11).