GOP-Led Health Law Repeal Vote Fails
A vote pushed by House Republicans to repeal the mandate on citizens to carry health insurance failed Tuesday, despite some Democrats joining Republicans to rescind what is known as the requirement known as the individual mandate, Politico reports. "Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, called for the repeal under a 'motion to recommit' - a parliamentary tool often used by the minority party to change bills on the House floor. Never mind that the bill Camp is using for this maneuver is a small business tax bill - Republicans wanted to get Democrats on the record once again saying they back a law that requires uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance." The vote was 187-230 to repeal the mandate, with 21 Democrats joining all but one Republican in voting for the repeal. Republicans, however, were successful in making lawmakers vote on the measure and "have been unified in their opposition to the individual mandate, repeatedly claiming that the government does not have the authority to force Americans to buy health insurance" (Sherman, 6/16).
Roll Call: "Despite the defections, Democratic aides insisted that the vote signified growing support for the health care bill, which was opposed by 34 Democrats in March. One Republican, Anh 'Joseph' Cao (La.), voted against Camp's proposal to repeal the insurance mandate on individuals. Cao also was the lone GOP lawmaker to vote for the health care bill. The individual mandate was a central flash point in the protracted debate over remaking the nation's health care system." Democrats dismissed the vote as a political stunt while Republicans said the vote was the first step to turn back the law (Hunter, 6/15).
The Washington Times: "The mandate that all Americans must buy health insurance also faces a constitutional legal challenge from some 20 states and business groups. The legal cases are still pending. Most of the Democrats who voted for repeal are from conservative-leaning districts and voted against the health care bill earlier this year as well. Still, House Republicans saw political targets in the vote. Their campaign committee immediately fired off an e-mail aimed at more than 50 Democrats who voted against repeal" (Dinan, 6/15).
The Hill: "The vote comes as part of the GOP's 'America Speaking Out' initiative, one of House Republicans' programs seeking online engagement with constituents" (O'Brien, 6/15).