CHN: Republican Campaign to ‘Repeal and Replace’ Health Reform is Afoot
On January 19, H.R. 2, a bill which would repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, was brought to the floor of the House and passed, 245-189. All House Republicans and three Democrats voted for the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office projects would add $230 billion to the deficit over 10 years. (The three Democrats were Dan Doren (OK), Mike McIntyre (NC), and Mike Ross (AR)). The vote was largely symbolic, as the Senate is not expected to take up the bill and the President has vowed to veto any repeal bill that reaches his desk.
The repeal vote is only the beginning of the Republican plan to dismantle the landmark health legislation. On January 20, Republicans introduced House Resolution 9 which instructs four House Committees to develop legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. Replacement legislation would have to meet various goals laid out in the resolution, including reforming the medical liability system, increasing the number of insured Americans, lowering premiums, prohibiting federal funding of abortions, and creating incentives to encourage personal responsibility in health care coverage and costs. The resolution passed 253-175; fourteen of those in favor were Democrats. The Committees put to task in H. Res. 9 are Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Judiciary and Ways and Means. No deadline for action by the Committees was included in the Resolution, but the Committee chairmen have indicated that they plan to move fast to hold oversight hearings and draft replacement bills.
On the day of the repeal vote more than 150 national organizations came together to voice their steadfast support for the new health care law, including the Coalition on Human Needs. See the list here.