U.S. House passes healthcare repeal

14:49, January 20, 2011      

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The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill repealing last year's healthcare law, a signature legislation of the Obama administration, but the bill is unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The House vote has fulfilled a central Republican campaign pledge and is the first major policy legislation since they took over the House in early January.

"Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower the cost without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government," said House speaker John Boehner. "Repeal means keeping a promise. This is what we said we would do."

After a five-hour debate on the House floor, the vote ended up at 245-189, splitting along party-lines. Three Democrats joined all 242 Republicans in supporting the repeal.

However, leaders of the Democratic-controlled Senate have said they will not act on the repeal, effectively killing the measure.

Republicans argued the healthcare law would increase spending, raise taxes and eliminate jobs. House Republicans said they would press ahead with their "repeal and replace" strategy. They will try to forge consensus on alternatives to the new law emphasizing "free market solutions."

Republicans will bring up a measure on Thursday to instruct House committees to draft replacement legislation.

The White House has recently launched a campaign to counter the Republican effort. Ahead of the vote on Tuesday, the White House released a statement quoting President Barack Obama as saying because of the Affordable Care Act passed last year, Americans now "have greater health security than they did a year ago...Small businesses across the country can take advantage of a new health care tax credit to offer coverage to their employees."

Obama said he was "willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve" the reform, but said it couldn't go backwards.

The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill repealing last year's healthcare law, a signature legislation of the Obama administration, but the bill is unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The House vote has fulfilled a central Republican campaign pledge and is the first major policy legislation since they took over the House in early January.

"Repeal means paving the way for better solutions that will lower the cost without destroying jobs or bankrupting our government," said House speaker John Boehner. "Repeal means keeping a promise. This is what we said we would do."

After a five-hour debate on the House floor, the vote ended up at 245-189, splitting along party-lines. Three Democrats joined all 242 Republicans in supporting the repeal.

However, leaders of the Democratic-controlled Senate have said they will not act on the repeal, effectively killing the measure.

Republicans argued the healthcare law would increase spending, raise taxes and eliminate jobs. House Republicans said they would press ahead with their "repeal and replace" strategy. They will try to forge consensus on alternatives to the new law emphasizing "free market solutions."

Republicans will bring up a measure on Thursday to instruct House committees to draft replacement legislation.

The White House has recently launched a campaign to counter the Republican effort. Ahead of the vote on Tuesday, the White House released a statement quoting President Barack Obama as saying because of the Affordable Care Act passed last year, Americans now "have greater health security than they did a year ago...Small businesses across the country can take advantage of a new health care tax credit to offer coverage to their employees."

Obama said he was "willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve" the reform, but said it couldn't go backwards.

Source: Xinhua
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