The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the first time in the new Congress, according to the New York Times.
Democrats said it was the 56th time since 2011 that the House had voted to repeal or undermine some or all of the law, which was passed in 2010 without any Republican votes.
However, it was the first time any Republican in Congress has ever voted against the total repeal of Obamacare. Three Republicans Tuesday voted against the GOP’s latest effort to fully repeal the law.
The measure passed 239-186, a margin that largely followed the outcome of House Republicans’ three previous bills. This time, however, the party hopes to offer a replacement within the next six months.
Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, acknowledged that “there has not been a unified Republican position” on how to replace the law.
Both Katko and Poliquin said in statements Tuesday that while they did not support the Affordable Care Act, they couldn’t support its repeal without something immediately ready to replace it.
No Democrat crossed party lines to support the legislation.
In the end, the latest vote will remain largely symbolic.
Republicans in the Senate are expected to address Obamacare within the next several months, but a full-scale repeal bill has little chance of clearing that chamber’s 60-vote threshold. President Barack Obama has also made it clear he will veto any repeal or significant roll-back of his signature health legislation.
“In addition to taking away Americans’ health care security, the bill would increase the deficit, [and] remove policies that have helped slow health care cost growth and improve the quality of care patients receive,” the administration said in a statement. “The last thing the Congress should do is re-fight old political battles and take a massive step backward by repealing basic protections that provide security for the middle class.”
The question still remains, if the bill increases healthcare security and reduces the deficit, why would any Congresspeople be against it?