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The report begins: "The House on Wednesday voted to repeal the Democrats' landmark healthcare overhaul, in a largely symbolic step that the new Republican majority said marked the beginning of an all-out effort to dismantle President Obama's signature domestic policy achievement."

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House staff react as the final healthcare votes are counted, 03/21/10. (photo: Pete Souza/The White House)
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House staff react as the final healthcare votes are counted, 03/21/10. (photo: Pete Souza/The White House)



House Votes to Repeal Obama Healthcare Law

By David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times

19 January 11

 

he House on Wednesday voted to repeal the Democrats' landmark healthcare overhaul, in a largely symbolic step that the new Republican majority said marked the beginning of an all-out effort to dismantle President Obama's signature domestic policy achievement.

Leaders of the Democratic-controlled Senate have said that they will not act on the repeal measure, effectively scuttling it.

The House vote was 245 to 189 to repeal the law, with three Democrats joining all Republicans in the majority.

While conceding the reality that the measure would not advance in the Senate, House Republicans said they would still press ahead with their "repeal and replace" strategy. The next steps, however, will be much more difficult, as they try to forge consensus on alternatives to the new law emphasizing "free market solutions" to control health costs and expand coverage.

Republicans have sketched their ideas without giving many details.

Even as four committees begin drafting legislation, Republicans said they would seek other ways to stop the overhaul, by choking off money needed to carry it out and by pursuing legislation to undo specific provisions, including its linchpin requirement that most employers help pay to insure their workers.

But with Democrats and the Obama administration staunchly defending the healthcare law, Republicans could face pressure to turn their attention to areas where there is greater chance of compromise as voters watch for results from the newly divided government.

Lawmakers clashed over the repeal proposal for five hours on the House floor on Wednesday, in a striking reprise of the debate that engulfed Capitol Hill from the spring of 2009 until March 2010 when Mr. Obama signed the healthcare law.

And while the rhetoric was slightly subdued in the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, the still-fierce debate showed that if anything the partisan divisions over the law had only deepened in recent months.

House Republicans denounced the law as an intrusion by the government that would prompt employers to eliminate jobs, create an unsustainable entitlement program, saddle states and the federal government with unmanageable costs, and would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. Republicans also said the law would not address the main problem in the healthcare system: the steep rise in the cost of medical services.

"Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower the cost without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government," the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio said. "Repeal means keeping a promise. This is what we said we would do."

Democrats, eager for a second chance to sell the law to a still skeptical public, trumpeted the benefits that have already taken effect, including protections for people who would otherwise be denied insurance coverage based on a pre-existing medical conditions, the ability for adult children to remain on their parents' policy until age 26, and new tax breaks for small businesses that help provide insurance to their workers.

Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, said, "It is unbelievable that with so many people out of work and millions of people uninsured, the first act of this new Congress is to take healthcare away from people who just got coverage."

Because of the law, Mr. Lewis said, more people have insurance, more small businesses are offering health benefits to workers, and "we are making healthcare a right and not a privilege."

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+13 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-01-20 00:58
I have a suggestion as to where Bonehead can stuff his "free market solutions".
 
 
+11 # angelfish 2011-01-20 03:01
True to their "Do Nothing for anyone but the RICH" Philosophy, the Republi-WON'Ts continue in their useless "symbolic" gestures. God forbid they ever did anything USEFUL for the American populace! Hopefully, the next two years will fly by and the the scales will fall from the eyes of the Mad Hatters who swept them into the House, and, for the love of Humanity, FINALLY vote the B-----ds OUT!
 
 
+15 # Stella Greig 2011-01-20 06:21
Better yet, let's tie the national health care law benefits to those of the House and Senate members, after all aren't they public servants? Shouldn't they be willing to live within the means, they are asking the rest of us to do?
 
 
+2 # rf 2011-01-20 07:25
Maybe we should repeal healthcare and get some REAL reform...the present plan is government subsidies for the health insurance industry!
 
 
+9 # Todd Williams 2011-01-20 08:55
It's barely a few weeks into the new face of Congress and I'm already sick of the Tan Man and his cronies. Where is their pledge to create jobs? So far, all they've attempted to do is kill jobs. And I really am angry at the "sheeple" who voted these clowns into office. The ones I know who voted for these a-holes are either ignorant, uninformed, undereducated or just plain mean spirited. We are really, really screwed.
 
 
+12 # tuandon 2011-01-20 09:41
Interesting. Mitt Romney used basically the same plan in Mass. and these hypocritical s.o.b.s did not seem to mind. But when Obama does it...It's Socialism/Nazis m/Communism. (Not one of those Tea Bag persons could even define any of those three terms, by the way.) Racism, anyone?
 
 
+6 # amye 2011-01-20 11:23
Those who voted for these Reps played right into the reps hands! How could anyone vote for even one of them in good conscience? The reps obstructed just about everything that would have helped the American public! Thats why those of us who are disappointed with Obama have to vote for him again! otherwise you play into the hands of the reps again! They will take over the Senate and the White House! Unless WE ALL vote for Independents, or some other 3rd party candidates! No, Not the Tea party either!
 
 
+1 # nelson heymann 2011-01-20 16:31
Who Let the Dogs Out!
 
 
+3 # CECILE 2011-01-20 18:59
Is there a place where we can easily find who voted against healthcare? I would like to send them a nice letter asking them to stop the hypocrisy and pay for their own insurance. With Senators getting $174,000.00 a year, base pay, they should be able to afford it, don't you?
 
 
+1 # don emilio 2011-01-20 19:37
It seems the Republicans in Congress are embarked on a vast onanistic waste of time. It might feel good, but, given the current political realities in Washington, it nothing can come of it.

Oops,I forgot! While they may not control either the Senate or the White House, the Democrats who do control these venues have proven themselves more than willing to cater to Republicans' wishes, no matter how obscene they might be.

In the spirit of comity (comedy?), no doubt the Dems will "compromise" on those aspects of the health care legislation that the corpocracy finds most objectionable.
 

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