The House today passed a bill that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) vows is a “death blow” to Obamacare.
The partial repeal of the healthcare law — a bill that also defunds Planned Parenthood — is the latest in dozens of whole or partial repeals passed by the House.
The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 passed 240-189, with one Democrat — Blue Dog Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.) — voting for the bill and seven Republicans voting “no”: Reps. Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Ken Buck (Colo.), Bob Dold (Ill.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Walt Jones (N.C.), Mark Walker (N.C.), and Mark Meadows (N.C.).
Walker said he voted against the bill because “while this package included provisions to defund Planned Parenthood, I take issue with the fact that Obamacare’s abortion mandates stay intact under this bill.”
“I thought it was important to reject this bill and demand one that fully repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood,” Walker said.
The budget reconciliation package pulled six of Obamacare’s 419 sections for repeal. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) had tried to amend the bill with full Obamacare repeal.
But McCarthy said the bill’s provisions “will strike a death blow to Obamacare, freeing Americans to take back control of their health care options and choices from the Federal government.”
“We will repeal the individual and employer mandates. We will repeal the Cadillac tax. We will repeal the job-killing medical device tax. We will repeal Obamacare’s unaccountable and wasteful Prevention and Public Health ‘slush’ fund. And we will repeal the auto-enrollment mandate,” McCarthy said.
The bill originated with House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.).
“So finally, a bill that repeals the foundations of Obamacare and stops taxpayer money from going to abortion and abhorrent practices like dissecting babies for research will reach the president’s desk,” McCarthy added. “Now, the president will be forced to decide if he will double down on his harmful and wrong policies or start listening to the American people.”
The White House vowed to veto the bill in a threat issued Wednesday, asserting it would “remove policies that are expected to help slow the growth in health care costs and that have improved the quality of care patients receive.”
The Office of Management and Budget did not mention Planned Parenthood in its argument against the bill, but focused on accusing Republicans of “refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class.”
Price said on the House floor that “this debate is about the millions of Americans who have seen their premiums go up and their out-of-pocket costs skyrocket after being told the law would bring those costs down.”
“This is about low-wage workers – 2.6 million according to the Hoover Institution – who are at risk of seeing their hours cut because of this law,” Price said. “This is about those Americans – particularly the 1 in 4 Americans living in rural parts of the country – who have found that in many cases their health care coverage comes with such narrow provider networks that they have to travel long distances to find treatment and run the risk of even higher costs.”
“There are positive, patient-centered solutions that would advance the cause of quality health care in this country and none of them require handing over more authority to Washington.”