The House Ways and Means Committee advanced legislation Tuesday to dismantle President Barack Obama’s “signature achievement,” Obamacare. The committee approved reconciliation recommendations along party lines, 23-14:
The House GOP has voted more than 50 times to repeal the health law, but this time is different: Republicans are using “reconciliation” to prevent Senate Democrats from blocking the legislation. Because the reconciliation process is limited to tax and spending measures, Republicans cannot use the process to repeal the entire health law. However, they can attempt to gut the law by repealing five core parts of Obamacare related to tax and spending measures: the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the medical device tax, and the “Cadillac tax.”
Upon passage, Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement:
This bill is a big step toward dismantling Obamacare. Through reconciliation, we have the opportunity to get a repeal bill not only through the House — but actually to the president’s desk. By tearing down many of the worst parts of the law — like forcing people to buy insurance only to later tax them for it — we could stop Obamacare in its tracks and start working toward a more affordable, higher-quality, patient-centered system. With contributions from three House committees, this reconciliation package will give American families the relief they need from such a disastrous law. It’s time to confront the president with the failings of Obamacare, and that’s just what this bill will do.
Although Obama will undoubtedly veto the bill, the vote provides a pathway for scrapping the still unpopular law should Republicans retake the White House in 2016.