The House of Representatives has again voted to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law. The vote to repeal the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, fell largely along party lines, 244-185, with five Democrats joining all Republicans in voting to repeal the controversial law. As I’ve written previously, Obamacare was recently ruled constitutional by the United States Supreme Court, but the court did invalidate a key component of the law that mandated Medicaid expansions to 133% of the federal poverty level, which is what led to the renewed effort by House Republicans to repeal the law.
According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House has now voted to repeal all or part of Obamacare 33 times since taking the House majority in January 2011 on a mandate to get rid of the controversial legislation from the 2010 elections. Today’s vote marks the second time the House has voted to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act in this current congress, the first was early last year. Most of the repeal efforts have met their demise in the Democrat controlled Senate, who have not allowed direct votes on the repeal bills to protect the legislation prior to the 2012 elections. Congressional Republicans have succeeded in repealing several individual pieces of the law, mainly the 1099 employer tax provision requiring employers to declare any purchase of $650 or more on a separate tax form and defunding portions of the law’s subsidies in separate negotiations.
With the Senate unlikely to bring the most recent repeal bill to a vote, the law will likely continue to be implemented with all eyes looking toward the 2012 Presidential election as the last option to stop full implementation of the controversial law’s individual mandate, Medicaid expansions as well as the 2300 other pages. OPGA Government Relations will continue to monitor the actions of Congress on the Affordable Care Act and provide further information in the coming weeks and months.