It’s about time!
Congress sent an ObamaCare repeal bill to the president’s desk for the first time on Wednesday, marking an election-year victory of sorts for Republicans who have tried since 2010 to scrap the law.
The bill repealing most of President Obama’s signature health care law was approved in a final 240-181 House vote Wednesday afternoon, after clearing the Senate late last year. The legislation also would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The measure still faces certain doom at the White House, and Democrats derided the vote Wednesday as pointless. The president is sure to veto, and Republicans do not have the votes to override.
But the political theater marks the opening volley in a fresh ObamaCare fight under the Paul Ryan-led House, and one likely to energize the party’s election-year efforts.
“I fully anticipate the president will veto this, but I mean, how many times have we been saying we want to put bills on his desk that say who we are, what we believe versus what he believes, and that he will veto,” Speaker Ryan, R-Wis., told Fox News Tuesday night before the vote.
The new speaker’s next goal is to engineer and pass a bill – also for the first time – to replace the Affordable Care Act. Doing so could help Republicans respond to Democrats’ allegations that they have no viable alternative.
Ryan is tempering expectations for the GOP in this exercise.
In a recent meeting with reporters, the speaker indicated that the House was practically obligated to pass a health care reform replacement bill. He was confident the House could do so this year but underscored that he didn’t say the president would sign the legislation into law.