WASHINGTON — House Republicans embarked Tuesday on another effort to repeal the health care law, staging an election-year debate that many Democrats labeled a waste of time.
Less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the law's provisions, Republicans attacked the law as a government intrusion into the health care industry that would ultimately raise insurance and medical costs and increase taxes on businesses and individuals.
Democrats countered that the law has already helped millions of people obtain insurance or remain insured — including young people who can now stay on their parents' policies until they're 26 — and helped seniors save money on drug costs.
The House is scheduled to vote on the repeal Wednesday, and it is expected to pass.
According to Democrats, it will be the 31st time the House has voted on repealing all or parts of the 2010 health care law since Republicans regained control of the House early last year.
In fact, one of the first acts of the GOP-controlled House in 2011 was a 245-189 vote to repeal the law.
However, the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, never took up that bill and won't take up the one being debated this week.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday that House Republicans were staging “a political show vote,” a sentiment echoed by many Democrats on Tuesday.
Boren to vote repeal
Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, one of three Democrats who voted last year to repeal the entire law, said Tuesday that he would do so again.
But, he said, “I think this is a purely symbolic vote because there is no chance of passage.”
Boren said the debate was about “framing the election,” a description that Republicans didn't deny.
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said the vote would put lawmakers on the record heading into the election.
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., said, “I have voted to repeal this 30 times and I will keep doing it until we get this right.”
The White House issued a veto threat of the House bill, saying, “The last thing the Congress should do is refight old political battles and take a massive step backward by repealing basic protections that provide security for the middle class.”
I think this is a purely symbolic vote because there is no chance of
Rep. Dan Boren