House votes 244-185 to repeal Obama healthcare reform law
By Elise Viebeck and Pete Kasperowicz - 07/11/12 08:57 PM ET
The House voted again Wednesday to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law, a largely symbolic gesture that gave Republicans some revenge against the Supreme Court ruling that declared the law constitutional.
Republicans also see it as a way to motivate their base this fall as they fight to keep control of the lower chamber, win the Senate and take the White House.
Members approved the repeal legislation on a 244-185 vote, after five hours of debate that stretched over two days.
Five Democrats, most of them facing tough reelection bids, supported the repeal effort alongside the GOP, prompting the Republican National Committee (RNC) to declare the result “bipartisan.”
The repeal effort will likely die in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but the Republican minority there is working to force a vote, hoping to put vulnerable Democrats on the record before November.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed to push for a repeal vote against the “worst piece of legislation … in modern times.”
His effort, attached to a small-business tax bill, is nearly identical to the GOP-passed bill.
McConnell also sought to tie the healthcare law to the slow economy — the prevailing Republican message since the Supreme Court upheld the law’s central provision as a tax.
“The Republican leadership in the House has once again fulfilled its commitment to protect the American people from the tax hikes and mandates in ObamaCare … that are making it harder for small businesses to hire,” McConnell said.