House Republicans repeal health care law for the 33rd time

Two weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the health care reform law, the House of Representatives today voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 33rd time.

H.R. 6079 “Repeal of Obamacare Act of 2012” passed with a vote of 244 to 185. The bill was supported by all 239 Republican members, who were joined by 5 Democrats.

Read more: Republicans vow to repeal health care law

“We have said since day one that we must fully repeal this law,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who introduced H.R. 6079.

House Democrats condemned the GOP’s attempts to undo the hard-won protections for consumers, such as requiring insurance companies to cover individuals (particularly children) with pre-existing health conditions, preventing insurers from arbitrarily dropping the health coverage of policyholders after they’ve become ill, and allowing young adults under age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance policies.

“My Republican colleagues are taking away patient protections for millions of American,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “That’s a betrayal of fundamental fairness.”

Read more: Supreme Court upholds health care law, affirms coverage mandate

Since the Supreme Court decision, Republicans have maintained that a full repeal of the health care law, which they have derisively dubbed ‘Obamacare’, is needed to pave the way for so-called “common-sense reforms.”

But, as Democrats pointed out, Republicans still haven’t put forward a plan to replace the 2009 health care reforms.

“Republican leadership had the choice to include those provisions and others in this bill. Yet, once again they’re choosing to deny care to millions of Americans instead,” said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) on the House floor yesterday.

Given that the Democratic-controlled Senate won’t be taking up H.R. 6079, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) excoriated the repeal vote as “political theater at its worst”, distracting Congress from tackling other pressing matters such as the jobs bill.

“Americans are out of work and this body isn’t doing anything about it,” said Ellison. “Because they’re busy doing political stunts, and that is a shame.”


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