House Passes Repeal of Health Care Law

Posted July 11, 2012 at 2:58pm

Updated: 4:09 p.m.

The House voted today to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, sending yet another rebuke to the president after the Supreme Court upheld the law last month.

It was the 33rd vote to kill all or part of the law, according to House GOP leaders. But the Senate is unlikely to take up the issue, relegating the hours of floor debate to little more than political posturing.

Nonetheless, if the Republican leaders’ goal was to make life difficult for some Democrats, they succeeded.

The bill passed 244-185, with 5 Democrats voting for the measure. No Republicans voted against the repeal.

Democratic Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) supported the repeal measure again, and were joined by Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.), who has previously voted against repeal measures. Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah) also voted for the repeal.

McIntyre, Kissell and Matheson face tough re-election races in conservative-leaning districts, while Boren and Ross are retiring.

Members from both sides of the aisle took to the floor to give grandiose speeches, with Republicans reproaching the controversial law as a government overreach and Democrats vigorously defending it, apparently buoyed by the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the law.

“Washington-based care is not the answer,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said on the House floor. “There is a better way to go about improving the health care system in this country. The American people want patient-centered care.”

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led a campaign-style rally in the Capitol Visitor Center, featuring what Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called “real people” explaining how the law benefits them and begging Republicans not to take away their health care.

With supporters packed into bleachers behind the podium and in rows of chairs in front of her, Pelosi heralded the law, saying it “makes health care a right, not a privilege for all Americans.”

Hoyer said today’s legislation “has no chance of going anywhere,” though the symbolic nature of the vote did not dampen the urgency of the rhetoric.