This was a vote on final passage of legislation repealing a 2010 landmark health care reform law that prohibited health insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions and provided health insurance coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans.
The healthcare reform measure that Republicans sought to repeal was strongly supported and signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. The law imposed a requirement that most Americans have health insurance, and was estimated to expand insurance coverage to 95% of the U.S. population. Employers with more than 50 workers were required to provide health insurance for their employees. The measure added 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls, and subsidized the purchase of private health insurance coverage for low- and middle-income people. In addition, the health care law imposed a 40% tax on high-cost insurance plans -- or those plans that are worth more than $27,500 for families, and $10,200 for individuals.
Rep. John Kline (R-MN) urged support for the bill repealing the health care law: “Almost 1 year ago, Democrats launched a nearly $1 trillion government takeover of health care that increases national health care spending by $311 billion over 10 years and levies more than $500 billion in new taxes on individuals, consumers, and businesses. The 2,700-page law has led to more than 4,000 pages of new rules and regulations, and the law is only 10 months old. The uncertainty of what this all means for individuals and businesses today, and in the months and years to come, is having a chilling effect on the country's job creators.”
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) also urged members to vote to repeal the health care measure: “This law imposes burdens on all Americans. It's a threat to senior citizens in that it will lead to waiting lists, deferral services, and rationing. It's a threat to our nation's youth in that it burdens them with excessive debt….the liberal health care takeover destroys jobs, limits freedoms, and expands big government.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) urged members to vote against repealing the health care reform law: “I strongly oppose this effort to repeal the health care bill. Millions of Americans are already benefiting from this legislation: insurers have stopped discriminating against sick children; seniors are saving money on prescription drugs; and small businesses are receiving billions of dollars in tax credits to provide health care coverage. Repeal will roll back these benefits.”
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) argued that repealing the health care reform law would inflict pain on the middle class: “A mother has two 4-year-old twins who are diagnosed with leukemia and tries to buy health insurance. The insurance company says we won't sell it to you because your children have leukemia, or we will charge you five times as much. We say that should be illegal and the law today the majority tries to repeal says differently. A `yes’ vote for repeal means she is told, Sorry, no insurance.”
The House passed this bill by a vote of 245-189. All 242 Republicans present and 3 Democrats voted “yea.” 189 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation repealing a 2010 landmark health care reform law that prohibited health insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions and provided health insurance coverage to 30 million Americans. The Senate, where the Democrats maintained a 53-47 majority, was not expected to take action on the measure. In addition, President Obama had vowed to veto any bill repealing the health care reform law.