Since the 2010 midterm elections, when the GOP picked up more than 50 seats in the House, they are now the majority and can easily pass bills that they favor, with ease.
Of course the bill will die in the Senate, which still remains in Democrats’ control, therefore having no chance of actually passing both houses.
House Republicans voted unanimously on Wednesday to fully repeal health care reform, though Senate leaders have said they will not take up the lower chamber’s bill. Instead, the fight will move to the less glamorous arenas of funding and rule writing. The vote was 245-189, with three Democrats — Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) — voting for repeal.
The vote to repeal health care was initially delayed by a parliamentary debacle in which two House Republicans skipped the swearing-in ceremony for a Capitol fundraiser, yet voted despite not being official members of Congress. It was delayed an additional week as the House paid tribute to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of the Arizona massacre.
The health care bill that the House would repeal allows parents to keep children on their health plans until the age of 26, bars insurers from denying service due to preexisting conditions, expands Medicaid funding dramatically and extends coverage to some 30 million uninsured Americans by 2019. It’s the largest piece of social policy the Democratic Party has enacted in decades. “It is a big deal, as Joe Biden said, in other words,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told progressive media Wednesday morning.
The GOP is calling it the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. Democrats, defending the bill, argued that covering 30 million additional people necessarily creates jobs in the health care sector and reduces the burden on small businesses. And repealing it would add more than $200 billion to the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. “I want to just advise people watching at home playing the now-popular drinking game, if you take a shot whenever the Republicans say something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said.