House joins Senate in taking first step to repeal and replace Obamacare

By Dave Andrusko

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan

Just one day after the Senate took a similar action, the House of Representatives today passed a budget resolution which established a framework for repealing and replacing the “Affordable Health Care Act”–Obamacare.

The House vote was 227-198. The Senate vote, which occurred early Thursday morning, was 51-48.

Today’s House action took place exactly one week before the inauguration of pro-life Donald Trump who has called Obamacare the “unaffordable care act.”

For pro-lifers, there are multiple highly objectionable provisions in Obamacare including provisions for tax-based subsidies to about 1,000 health plans that cover elective abortions and which impose government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical care.

In a floor speech, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the measure would launch a “thoughtful, step-by-step process” toward replacing Obamacare. “This is a critical first step toward delivering relief to Americans who are struggling under this law,” he said. “In the weeks ahead, several steps will be taken to provide relief — some steps will be taken by this body; some steps will be taken . . . by the new administration.”

The actions taken by the House and Senate are essentially procedural, setting the stage for a special kind of legislation, which cannot be filibustered, called a “reconciliation bill.” This can repeal significant parts of Obamacare having to do with fiscal measures, such as tax credits.

Following seven hours of contentious debate, the Senate voted 51-48 in favor of the budget blueprint. With one exception, the vote was strictly along party lines with all Republicans in support, all Democrats in opposition.

Pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “The Senate took an important step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare by passing the resolution that provides the legislative tools necessary to actually repeal this failed law while we move ahead with smarter health care policies,”

“This is our opportunity to keep our campaign promise,” added pro-life Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. “This is our opportunity to help the president-elect and the vice president-elect keep their campaign promises and show to the American people that elections have consequences.”

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